Clive ‘N’ Wrench (Switch) Review
A rabbit and a monkey jump into a refrigerator. That’s not a joke. It’s the start of Clive and Wrench’s adventure through time. You’ll have to blast through the past, present, and more to thwart Dr. Daucus. So let’s do the time warp again!
Made by Dinosaur Bytes Studios and published by Numskull Games, the game features Clive, the rabbit and Wrench the monkey as protagonists in a tried and true video game formula – a 3D-platformer-collectathon starring a funny animal duo.
All the old-school 3D-platformer staples are here. A hundred or so
coins pocket watches and ten jiggies ancient stones to collect per themed level. Wacky characters and wackier bosses with gibberish voices. A smorgasbord of moves, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour and a bouncy soundtrack to back it all up. With all these ingredients, you’d be hard-pressed to not be reminded of the DNA Clive ‘N’ Wrench shares with the old 3D-platforming giants like Mario, Banjo-Kazooie and Spyro.
Maybe it’s the pair of rose-tinted glasses I can’t seem to take off, but Clive ‘N’ Wrench, unfortunately, doesn’t stand on these giants’ shoulders as much as it fumbles around near their ankles. Between the Gamecube-esque graphics, some big ‘ol bugs, and a handful of balancing issues (crappy hit detection combined with no post-damage invincibility saw my health halved in a instant a lot). That’s not to say it’s a complete write-off. There’s a lot of character here. I’ll never get tired of bounding about a 3D landscape, and a chunk of the jokes and references made me smile – Gex’s catchphrase ‘Its tail time’ graffitied on a wall, c’mon!
Clive ‘N’ Wrench shortcomings are put in perspective knowing that development was led by a single person over the course of a decade. Rob Wass, the game’s creator, director, writer and more, is obviously a big fan of the genre, and as a fellow fan I have to commend his work. Say what you will about the game, but for one man’s efforts over the course of ten years things came together pretty darn well.
Since they fell out of vogue, I’m always excited to see a new 3D-platformer, no matter the shape or form. Clive ‘N’ Wrench isn’t my favourite of the genre, far from it. But props to Dinosaur Bytes Studio for throwing their hat in the ring. I’m keen to see what they get up to in hopefully less than ten years.
+ A new 3D-platformer!
+Bunch of character, humour and heart
+ References to other classic games
+ Made by one dude
- Bugs and balancing issues
- Lacklustre graphics
- Nothing to write home about