Kickstarter Shout-out: Clive 'n' Wrench

Here is a fun fact about these Kickstarter Shout-out articles. The origin of these articles was a game called Clive and the Stones back in 2014. Unfortunately, the original Kickstarter did not make its funding goal by a long shot. I also wasn’t proud of the article, so I never published it on my own website. That means that the first official Kickstarter Shout-out went to Popup Dungeon. Well, more than a year later, Clive and the Stones is back as Clive ‘N’ Wrench. If you are into 3D platformers like Jak & Daxter, the two main Banjo Kazooie games, or the upcoming A Hat in Time and Spooky Poo’s HAPPY HELL, then this is the Kickstarter for you!

The story is about, who else, but Clive and his buddy Wrench. They must stop an evil scientist bunny named Dr. Daucus, who is traveling through time to find these ancient stone tablets. Can Clive and his monkey buddy Wrench stop this evil scientist from reaching his goal? Well, you will have to make sure this game gets funded to find out.

Clive ‘n’ Wrench is a 3D platformer in the same vein as the first two Banjo Kazooie games and the Jak & Daxter series. You will travel around 10 different worlds, fighting the evil lackeys of the villain to get the collectathon-style items. Each world is inspired by different time periods, like the ice age, the wild west, and so on and so forth. Clive and Wrench have two main forms of attacking. You can do a spin attack using Wrench as your beating stick, or you can throw wrenches at the baddies. Both Clive and Wrench have their own abilities as well. You can run faster on all four legs with Clive, and can glide safely down using a banana leaf with Wrench. In general, if you have played the golden age of 3D platformers, then you should know what to expect.

Graphically, while it is still in production and could use some work, the game looks promising. It reminds me of a lot of the PlayStation 2 and late Nintendo 64 era of platformers, where having huge levels with multiple objectives was the norm. I also enjoy the bright colors and quirky music. The music definitely captures that Grant Kirkhope-style of music that you hear in games like Banjo Kazooie. It’s lovely in a very innocent and nostalgic way.

So, what concerns do I have? Well, the first concern comes from the hand-drawn presentation of some of the art work. It isn’t the best, and I think it honestly must have turned some people off because they recently redesigned Clive and Wrench’s heads to look different. I also think some people are slightly turned off by the intentionally corny 90s-style trailer. I know humor is subjective, but I feel like the trailer would have been better if it was just about the platforming and banners talking about the story and gameplay, or just being silent and showing off the gameplay. I mean, I got the humor, but it fell a little flat for me. My other concerns come from playing the demo. Luckily, I have talked to the developer about this and they will fix my concern of controls. When I played the demo that was in alpha, the turning felt off, like I had a little too much weight to the character and was slipping on ice. It made platforming a little less enjoyable due to how I moved. Like I said above though, they are going to fix that issue. I just hope people are not turned off by the alpha demo that is introduced. A lot of gamers will probably not admit that they don’t know the difference between an alpha build and an actual end product. I am hoping that no one is turned off by the demo and thinks this is how the overall feel of the game will be like when it is finally released. It will get better, the controls will be better, and you get what I am saying. I should know, I was a quality assurance tester a few years ago. I have seen the development of a game through its stages. I am also concerned about this game not reaching its funding because of the poorly timed Kickstarter fiasco of the infamous Peter Molyneux’s Godus and the other infamous Kickstarter bomb, The Stomping Land. Just because those two got in over their heads, and produced products that were not good, doesn’t mean every other Kickstarter that actually wants to give a hoot about making a good product is a sham. Again, how many successful games that came out last year were Kickstarter related? Quite a few if you actually count them.

In the end, I think Clive ‘n’ Wrench deserves a Kickstarter Shout-out. The year of work they have put into the project is impressive, and really, we could use more 3D platformers. Once again, I hope people aren’t turned off by the alpha demo or the 2D art and Kickstarter trailer or the recent Kickstarter nightmares that give the site a bad reputation. Anyway, the funding goal is over $38K in US currency. It is currently at over $2K in US currency. I hope the pace picks up, but if it doesn’t, the game is up on Steam Greenlight, and the two characters of this Kickstarter are going to be in the Kickstarter-funded Super Mario Kart-inspired Super World Karts, an indie racing game that has a cast of multiple indie games. This will hopefully pick up more steam for the Kickstarter in the future. Other than that, all I have to say is congrats to Rob Wass and his team. Clive ‘n’ Wrench gets my Official Kickstarter Shout-out.

(If you want to support this Kickstarter, go to this link!)