Clid the snail is kind of a weird game. It features dual-stick fire controls, but its pace is more like an adventure or role-playing game. The world is incredibly atmospheric and offers one of the most interesting new backdrops I’ve seen in recent times. It’s a dark, sinister game with humor and interesting characters, but it stumbles constantly thanks to a surprising lack of balance and consistency.
Playing the part of the gruff, gun-loving snail, Clid (yes, that’s a math nerd joke), is often a fun and intense experience, but the game doesn’t seem to know exactly where it’s going to. at some point. Things begin almost quietly, as Clid begins his adventure to fight off an invading army of slugs that have spread across the land like a squishy, disgusting plague.
Snail Review: Locked, Charged, and Shocked
Starting only with a laser rifle, which can be charged for a super shot, Clid can easily mow down the initially slow and infrequent enemies he encounters. Soon, he’ll meet a raging pyromaniac mouse and earn a flamethrower, before joining an eclectic group of outcasts led by a weirdly greedy chameleon.
The interaction between Clid and this group remains pretty cool for much of the game. That mouse he killed was the Turtle Shaman’s best bud, so this guy hates you. The leader only cares about earning money and respect by helping the diverse and isolated animal enclaves, and the others are just a strange bunch of traumatized survivors. Fortunately, these characters and their world are fascinating.
There is quite a mythology and history between the different species and specific characters encountered by Clid. Much of this story is brutal, gruesome, and horribly violent. The fact that the game is clearly set on Earth after the humans went extinct is another big facet of the story. Called giants, the remains of humanity have given rise to religious and sometimes sectarian followers.
Far from being a cheerful and bright talking animal game, the world of Clid is dark and full of ruins, old world remnants, death traps, and constant reminders of war. Even the brightly lit levels, like a scorching desert and a strange city of robotic fish, exude an oppressive atmosphere. The graphics are excellent, with crisp detail across the landscape and great character designs.
There are times when this scenery gets in the way of your vision, however, and the multi-level perspective can lead to frustration, as aiming accurately at higher or lower levels is awkward at best. Throwing grenades over walls or past obstacles is nearly impossible, and the physics of bouncing grenades can easily cause unfortunate unintentional suicide.
Different types of enemies abound. Sword-carrying slugs swooping down on you, slugs with shields, grenade and crossbow slugs, giant moles, huge slug trolls, and various other largely standard enemy archetypes await. Bigger enemies require a mix of strategies, usually involving explosives and the right choice of weapon.
When fully armed and provisioned, Clid is a walking death machine. With 10 distinct weapons, most made available fairly early on, there are plenty of ways to smoke snails. A shotgun, circular bladed launcher, goo grenade launcher, mind-blowing electric pistol, rapid-fire laser gun and more await the eager Clid. Everything except his base rifle requires ammo, and he can only carry a limited amount of ammo, secondary weapons, and med kits.
Between levels, Clid can use money and other items earned during a mission to upgrade his hull, storage capacity, and other stats, but the game is unlikely to hit territory of RPG type character creation.
The real problem with Clid is that his very snail nature feels so at odds with the action. When you just walk around the main map of the first mission, the enemy count is (for a while) kept pretty low and manageable. The game lulls you into a false sense of security for that first track before suddenly pushing Clid through a painfully too long arena sequence where he single-handedly has to defend a gate against invaders.
Nothing from the past prepares you for this. The game suddenly shifts from a pace and level of difficulty to a new extreme. It turns out that it changes a lot as the going. These arena sequences become the norm at the end of each mission, although you will likely get a better combat pace after a while.
There is a fixed issue with turning a game with a remarkably slow character into something almost as hectic as an old school arcade shooter. Clid is painfully slow to reload, dodge, and even run. It also has a limited stamina meter for dodging and running, and no other physical abilities.
When assailed by multiple styles of enemies coming from multiple directions, for example throwing mines or grenades while holding the trigger down to extend a throwing arc becomes nerve-racking. A few times the game throws you into a tough combat situation without even giving Clid the ability to restock ammo and supplies, although the Merchant Hermit Crab is usually placed at the start or end of each new one. section.
Platform-style antics are more problematic. There are frequent death drops where Clid literally has to roll through a gap instead of jumping. Rolling, however, is random, slow (snail?), And requires precise timing. This makes tasks like having to quickly and repeatedly ride over moving smashing pistons with deadly salt water between incredibly un-fun moments.
Finally, there are a lot of puzzles here, often involving things like lasers reflecting off moving gems to open doors. Most of them are fairly straightforward, but the game will feature puzzles that require the use of a specific weapon. It’s good when the game actually tells you about that added gun mechanic, but sometimes it doesn’t tell you or does it in the blink of an eye and you missed it. Like, say, the fact that the flamethrower can heat up certain reflective crystals to spin them.
Clid the Bottom Line Snail Review
- Great atmosphere, world and history
- Excellent variety of weapons
- Look and sound good
- Lots of challenge
- Clid’s slower pace clashes with much of the action
- Extremely uneven pace and peaks of difficulty
- Rolling Segment Platform Can Be Boring
- Some of the puzzles are incredibly obscure
There is a lot to love in Clid the snail. The world itself is the main draw. It’s a wonderfully dark and eerie apocalyptic setting, full of characters, history, and interesting sites.
When it works, the shooter is strategic and entertaining, but all too often it never freezes properly, resulting in frustrating difficulty spikes and control issues.
[Note: The writer purchased the copy of Clid the Snail used for this review.]