> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Clive 'N' Wrench Review

Clive 'N' Wrench Review

3D mascot platformers have been steadily making a comeback over the past decade or so, and honestly, I love that. Keep your roguelike soulslikes with RPG and crafting elements, just give me a character who can double jump and chuck their little buddy around to bop enemies, that’s enough for me to get on with. That’s where Clive ‘N’ Wrench steps in with collectables, a level hub and everything. It really tried to win me over from the first level, because it’s a “small character in a normal-sized house”, and damn if I don’t love that aesthetic. But was it enough?

The evil Doctor Daucus has stolen a time travel device from Clive’s friend Nancy, and she gives him and Wrench the task of retrieving it by travelling throughout time and space in a fridge to… something. The game is actually light on the story because it’s a 90s-style 3D platformer, so the characters all just make noises at one another with a small amount of text at a time, and boy does that text not tell you enough.

You get around Clive 'N' Wrench with jumping, double jumping, high jumping, and swinging your monkey around and around. Wrench is a monkey, I should have mentioned that… Once you get used to it, the actual movement of Clive (a rabbit) is surprisingly smooth. Why surprisingly? I’ll get to that.

From the hub world, you can enter each themed world to gather Ancient Stones, and once you have enough of them you can fight a boss. The stones are hidden behind things, inside objects, or given to you by other characters for doing tasks. There are also clocks to find and collect, a bunch of which are hidden off the beaten path or inside vases that you need to break open. Like I said earlier, it’s a 90s-style 3D platformer, and these are things you would expect from the genre.

The sense of humour through the game is really great with some truly esoteric gags hidden away. One that had me giggling was in the kitchen — right at the start of the game — when I spotted that the brand name on the toaster was Lister. Lister is a character in my favourite TV show and one of the words used constantly as an expletive is “smeg” — which is also the name of a company which makes kitchen appliances. See? You get it, you’re rolling on the floor with laughter.

While some of the sound effects are annoying, the music works well for every level. Different areas inside each one have a different tune and most times they blend well into one another as you move around. It really feels like Clive 'N' Wrench belongs on a 64-bit console.

The issue is that it really feels like Clive 'N' Wrench belongs on a 64-bit console. It feels like an older game in some good ways, but also in all of the bad ways too. Textures disappear, enemy hitboxes appear to vary, boss attacks are difficult to see coming, and the opening cutscene shows every time you boot the game up (though it’s skippable). The story is ill-defined with the main villain barely appearing in the game, and even the main characters are blank slates — neither of which would be much of an issue if I was holding a manual in one hand, but I don’t have the Collector’s Edition which is the only version which actually has a manual.

Not strictly a 3D platformer issue are the loading times, which when leaving levels can feel like it’s taking too long because the camera has to do a fly-by of the hub world each and every time. I got frustrated by one particular cutscene because I thought that it was a loading screen when no, it just looked like one and went on and on and on.

One thing that I would have expected but never encountered were camera issues. While it moved a little slowly for my tastes, on the whole, it reacted well and never got stuck on objects. Sure, it went through some things and showed me the messy inside of buildings, but it never resulted in my death. The level designs in Clive 'N' Wrench are great, I already mentioned the “house” level, but there’s also the Bayou, Victorian England, Ancient Egypt… There’s variety here, and with those clocks to find you had better believe that there is exploring to do.

It’s a shame that Clive 'N' Wrench embodies 90s 3D platformers so completely. If the developer had managed to get rid of the bad parts and only keep the good, then this would have been the perfect love letter. Unfortunately, it reads more like a text thread from your drunk ex that reminds you about the good times, but also why you broke up.

6.50/10 6½

Clive 'N' Wrench (Reviewed on Windows)

Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.

While largely enjoyable, there are too many technical issues to be ignored on its quest to become the quintessential 90s 3D platformer.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

Share this: