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Review: Gunman Clive

At a Glance

This game is recommended!
This game is not just good fun, it also stays fairly true to Christian moral values, making it a great addition to anyone's library!

ESRB Rating: NR - Not Rated
My Rating: Everyone
Genre: Platform Shooter
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2014
Review Published On: September 23rd, 2020
Played on: Thaddeus

Available from:

Gamer's Gate, Steam

Save System:

Your progress is saved whenever you complete a level. There are also three save slots to choose between, allowing you to have several games going at the same time.

If you need to pause the action, simply press ESC.

Summary of
Major Issues:

The most there is to worry about in this game is some mild violence, as the characters do shoot each other. When the bad guys are shot, they simply fall over and disappear in a cloud of smoke.

Unless the bad guy is a robot, in which case they'll explode.


[view screenshot]
Trouble on the train

[view screenshot]
To the moon!

[view screenshot]
Miss Johnson can also take things into her own hands

Game Overview

For a game about gunfights in the Wild West, Gunman Clive has a very dreamlike feel to it. The art style really sets the tone, as the animations are slow, smooth, and almost detached from the action you're seeing. The controls, while very responsive, also feel sleepy (if you could picture that).

In fact, this entire game feels like something a child dreamed up on a warm summer's night. The story began realistically enough, but as the story progresses, its grip on reality starts to fall apart. It all began when outlaws kidnapped Mayor Johnson's daughter and the heroic Gunman Clive headed out to rescue her. Initially, he was fighting bandits in a western town. Then he was following them through the old mines, a desert expanse, and even a woodland fortress. By the end of the story, Clive's fought cyborgs and transforming locomotives, and even traveled into space to fight giant robot bandits on the moon.

It's the sort of story that makes sense while you're dreaming it, but not after you've had your breakfast and had time to think about it. Also, like a dream, this game is remarkably short. The entire thing can be completed in about thirty minutes. This does keep prevent the game from being stretched too thin or stuffed full of filler, but it also leaves you somewhat unsatisfied, as it's over too quickly.

As it is, Clive's first outing is definitely something fans of platform shooters and old-school games will enjoy. It's also a good game for the kids, as the slower gameplay doesn't require fancy skills and there's nothing terribly offensive to be found during this adventure.

Points of Interest

Three playable characters
When you start a new game, you can choose between three different characters and three difficulty modes. The latter seems to only effect how many hits your character can absorb before being defeated, but each character has a very different playstyle.

The "normal" way to play this game is to select the titular Gunman Clive, but you can also choose to play as Miss Johnson. If you do select Miss Johnson, then it's Clive who gets kidnapped. But, Miss Johnson can't fire her gun while walking, nor can she run particularly well. She can however hover when she jumps, which can allow her to find new areas or dodge obstacles that can cause trouble for Clive.

There is also a hidden joke character who becomes available once you've completed the game as either Clive or Miss Johnson. This third character is unable to use a weapon at all, forcing you to work your way through the game without harming anybody.
Steam community features
There is a set of Steam trading cards available, but you're probably going to be more interested in this game's nine achievements. Each character gets their own achievement for completing the game, but the other six achievements will take considerably more effort to earn, as they require you to not only complete the game, but you need to do so flawlessly or in record time.
Controls are slippery
Although this fits the animation style and overall atmosphere to a T, the controls aren't nearly as precise as most other platform shooters. If you typically rush through levels, this is going to feel strange at first. Once you get the hang of it though, it stops feeling like your character is walking around on banana peels.

Concerns and Issues

Mild violence
Like you'd expect from a game based around bandits and the Old West, most of the game involves people shooting at each other. However, there is no blood, no gore, or anything like that. When shot, bandits simply fall over and disappear in a cloud of smoke. Of course, the various robots explode instead, but nobody really worries about stuff like that.

On a side note, while it's not stated anywhere, it's entirely possible that the "bandits" are just humanoid robots too. After all, the second boss is a cyborg, and after that, you only fight robotic enemies.