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City Climber Review

City Climber Review

Have you ever wanted to climb a building? City Climber gives you a chance to climb up any surfaces with Spider-Man levels of grip, playing as a blocky man who is given a variety of tasks that all involve climbing buildings. This is completed with a full physics system, where you have to move one arm at a time to move forwards - or upwards.

The levels are all focused on a single building, with the design being particularly minimalist. The art style suits the game’s simplicity as you are only able to move one arm at a time. This is a similar control scheme to other games in the genre, but in City Climber I found it to be incredibly clunky and unintuitive. With both a controller and keyboard/mouse it was so difficult to make the arms go exactly where you want them to go, and the camera angle doesn’t help either.

The camera stays pretty far out at a 45 degree angle to the character, which makes it very difficult to see where your arms actually are. There is an audio cue for when your arm has attached to a surface, but it only plays when you’re no longer controlling it and if you want to get fast times - something the game prompts you to do - it can result in instant failure. Not being attached to a wall, you see, is an instant failure so letting go of the wall with the lone hand you’re left holding on with can cause you to lose all progress.


This is so frustrating, mainly because the game gives you no way to save yourself. There is no falling in the main missions, just instant failure. To me, this goes against what I enjoy so much in climbing games: I love having to fix my own mistakes without completely restarting everything. This becomes all the worse in the set levels of City Climber because you end up climbing up the same section repeatedly.

It’s not like they didn’t program in the gravity and ragdoll collisions either: there are several party games included which revolve entirely around controlled falling. Personally, I found these to be very shallow and boring to play on my own, though there is the option to play with up to four local players. This is achieved through a “Pass the Controls” system, where each player takes it in turn to complete a mission. I found this a bit odd though, because when one player passed a level it moved on to the next one - even if nobody else had played it.

It is no secret that I like climbing games: Grow Up and Grow Home are two of my favourite games and so when I saw City Climber I was excited to have a go at someone else’s idea of a physics based climber. What I got was a QWOP-esque game full of frustrations that ultimately feels a little half-baked. If the controls and camera were improved and the game didn’t instantly end when you let go of something, it would be a significantly better experience.

4.50/10 4½

City Climber (Reviewed on Windows)

Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.

A frustrating, hard to control climbing game that feels ultimately shallow and impractically designed.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Jinny Wilkin

Jinny Wilkin

Staff Writer

Reviews the games nobody else will, so you don't have to. Give her a bow and arrow and you have an ally for life. Will give 10s for food.

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