Gunman Clive - (3ds) Archive Review

My first Eshop purchase was a doozy. Gunman Clive, developed by Bertil Horberg and released across the iOS, Android, and Nintendo eShop platforms, is an amazing throwback to the days of yore. The days when rage quitting happened on 5-10 minute intervals, the days when learning an enemy’s patterns were the difference between progressing or starting over all the way at the beginning! The days when games were genuinely hard to keep you engaged and playing.
Gunman Clive is a difficult game, but don’t let that put you off. It eases into it’s difficulty in a very smooth transition, starting off slightly challenging and working to a fever pitch of insanity as the 20 levels whoosh by. Good thing, too, as the game itself is not very long-20 levels, average time of approximately 75 seconds(there is a timer that keeps track and displays itself to you upon clearing every stage), doesn’t make for a very long play though.
However, getting through those stages in that time doesn’t take into account all of the trial and error you go through to get from one end to the other. I played through on Normal difficulty, but there is an easy and hard setting as well, for whomever wishes to modify it to their tastes. The game autosaves after every stage, and the boss battles come at the end of every 5 levels.
The atmosphere is spot on-you are a lone Cowboy fending off bandits in handkerchiefs whom have stolen your love(Ms. Johnson-daughter of the local General Store owner), and the sepia-toned, hand drawn art is not as boring as two-toned yellow brown is expected to be, and the music score is laid back western fare for the most part. As the difficulty builds and you progress into more challenging areas, the pace of the music goes with it, reaching a fever pitch with some straight up Mega Man style-run and jump to avoid obstacles that fire projectiles at you. This happens around stage 13, and just lends so much more to the game as a whole.
Gunman Clive, honestly, plays out like a love letter to the mighty blue bomber, and is the best example you are going to find of a true Mega Man game(albeit in a linear fashion) until Keiji Inafune delivers Mighty No. 9 next spring(expected date of April 2015).
There are various temporary upgrades you get for your gun that you can keep as long as you don’t get hit, and sometimes enemies drop cake to refill your health meter. Enemies start off as bandits with guns and dynamite, but as you progress through the game you are assailed by coyotes, ducks(?), projectile shooting whirly-gigs, and aliens(?!?).
To lend to the replayability of the game, you can choose to go through the game with Clive, Ms. Johnson, and a third unlockable character that I will leave for you to discover. All in all, I’d say the experience is worth far more than it’s $1.99(!!!) price tag(no matter which platform you’re buying it on), and I can’t wait to see more from Mr. Horberg.



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