Platform: PS4, PC
Publisher: Gammera Nest
Developer: Weird Beluga
Clid the Snail is an odd duck (if you?ll pardon the cross-species metaphors). It?s a twin-stick shooter, but it doesn?t feel anything like any other twin-stick shooter that I?ve ever played. Compared to, say, Hotline Miami, or Dead Nation, or Crimsonland, or a whole bunch of others, Clid the Snail is slow-paced and contemplative, not at all like those other games that are flashy and fast-moving.
Given the hero of the game is a literal snail, the pace kind of makes sense — snails, after all, aren?t known for moving all that quickly. And Clid the Snail takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where humans are mythical giants from a bygone age, with only bits and pieces left to remember them by — so the contemplative nature of the game fits in, too.
But even if it makes some degree of sense, it still makes for a fairly dull experience, all things considered. The game overdoes it with the quiet atmosphere, with every level feeling like it takes place in a foggy haze. To a point, that works for giving Clid the Snail an unsettling atmosphere, and it certainly looks a lot nicer than most games of this ilk — but it doesn?t take long before the oppressive feeling weighs down the whole game, too.
The shooting part of the game is also pretty lacking. The eponymous snail isn?t exactly armed to the teeth, and he?s generally stuck with weapons that don?t feel like they pack much of a punch. On the flip side, he?s not exactly facing waves of unforgiving enemies — rather, he frequently faces slugs, flies, and other bugs that helpfully line up in a row so our hero can slowly mow them down. There are some boss fights that go a little too far in the opposite direction, but even then, they feel more like unending slogs than all-out gun battles.
It?s unfortunate that Clid the Snail is so boring to play, because it really has some interesting ingredients. Between the oddball premise and the unsettling atmosphere, there?s definitely some talent here. Ultimately though, none of that can overcome gameplay that just falls a little flat.
Gammera Nest provided us with a Clid the Snail PS5 code for review purposes.