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Gunman Clive puts a bullet into terrible platformers

by Michael Ian

Platforming and onscreen controls. Those two words are enough to make hardcore mobile gamers cringe. Like first person shooters, platform games on smartphones are often atrocious or merely mediocre. Only a few select titles have managed to rise above the shoddy controls. Developer Bertil Hörberg brings a tightly-controlled platformer with a visual flair in his western-inspired game, Gunman Clive.

Gunman Clive’s set pieces takes place in the old classic west, until it takes a strange turn midpoint through. As you attempt to rescue the mayor’s daughter, you’ll travel along the game and witness ships, UFOs and you’ll even wield lasers. Melding science fiction with a western backdrop, this 3-D platformer comes from the same vein as old-school shooters such as Mega Man.

Featuring rich, sketched-style graphics, Gunman Clive already stands among the top of the pile of platformers. Bucking the trend of popular cartoony graphics (thank you Angry Birds) the penciled looks of Gunman Clive feature a washed-out, beige world. While plain, some of the full color enemies just pop in contrast to its one-colored layer. The western feel that Mr. Hörberg uses is certainly unique to mobile games.

As we mentioned earlier, touchscreen platforming can only go two ways. Fortunately Gunman Clive manages to rise a level above average controls. Oh, you’ll die numerous times, but it’s not because the game is overwhelming difficult. Gunman Clive will challenge you enough, short of gritting your teeth. Thankfully, the game mercifully gives you unlimited lives.

Gunman Clive’s 3D platforming and unique visuals are aesthetically pleasing. It’s safe to say there’s no other game on the market quite like it. Marginally beating Sega’s own platforming classic, Sonic the Hedgehog, Gunman Clive would have fit right in during the early ’80s platforming era as it does today.

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