I have always loved all things furry, creepy, and crawly. From looking for snails and millipedes under my nan’s flowerpots back in England to when my Mum made me throw out my elephant beetle shells collection because they stunk out my room; I’ve always been fascinated by creatures big and small. It was obvious that when I saw “Clid the Snail” developed by the small indie team, Weird Beluga, I just had to check it out. Who wouldn’t want to play as a badass anthropomorphism gun-slinging snail?
As you may have already worked out Clid is our titular hero and yes, he is in fact, a snail. One bad-ass mofo of a snail, who lives in a world that “The Giants” have long been extinct from. Clid is a rogue, not content with the peaceful life his elders chase in his village, making him quite the local outcast. With his firefly companion, Belu, he is exiled out of his clan but continues to defend them against their slug enemies and travels beyond the reaches to investigate what is plaguing their lands and once placid neighbors.
The characters and story are actually quite endearing with a very folk lore-like tale unraveling. Unfortunately, the game suffers from the same annoyance as ‘Biomutant’ as the characters speak in their own gibberish language. Thankfully it isn’t for long, but voice acting would have greatly polished this beautiful narrative.
The controls are actually not that hard to understand for a basic twin-stick shooter, as the challenge itself is shooting. One stick controls the direction that Clid travels while the other directs his shooting at his range of sluggy enemies. He is also equipped with an arsenal wheel at a click of the button, that houses all his weapons he acquires along the way, and boy is it an impressive amount and they are so fun to use.
From his initial pulse rifle that can have its shots charged, to chain guns and flame throwers, this snail has it all. There are sap orbs you can collect in-game from chests to use as currency to buy things from the wholesome hermit crab. These supplies might be supplies such as grenades, mines or even health kits, or even brand new shells. Brand new shells are definitely the aim as they provide extra magic abilities like ice ball shields, protective bubbles, and other cool defensive tricks.
While the gameplay is typical of twin shooters and quite challenging, I found the balance between the speed of attacking and the sponginess of the enemies just brutal. While you have to juggle controlling Clid, the enemies will onslaught you while taking barely any damage just to tap you a few times and die. This can be exceptionally frustrating if you save in an awkward spot at the sparely littered dandelion saves, allowing no backtracking to restock.
Visually, the game is stunning. It is captivating graphically from the start menu all the way to the end cutscenes. As you travel through these environments, they really evoke the sense of being lived in, as the undergrowth is thriving with small and endearing details. From discarded match stick lanterns, litterings of human skulls, and bridges held together by discarded plastic spoons, the man-made world of the past is these animals’ utopia.
The cutscenes too are gorgeously rendered throughout, with epic acoustic guitar setting the tone right from the menu screen, to thrashed out metal during boss fights. It would have been so balanced if they hadn’t have fogged out and put a dark edge filter over the graphics, dulling the edges of the screen in what can at times already be a dark game.
Basically, while the game is not perfect it has so much potential. I loved every minute even the frustrating points of having to repeat a boss 15 plus times before we defeated it; this game just has you coming back for more. I wanted to see everything Clid had waiting for him because the studio Wierd Beluga had painted such a beautiful world and narrative for him. If this is their first game I am excited to see what they come up with next!
- Endearing folklore-like tale
- Simple to learn controls
- Challenging but satisfying
- Wheel of interesting to use weapons
- A range of nifty shell abilities
- Beautifully rendered cutscenes
- Amazing collection of music from acoustic to the metal setting the scene
- Detailed environments that are alive
- The dark filter that just ruins the perfect graphics
- Voice acting is such a missed opportunity
- The enemies sometimes are ridiculous bullet sponges and are very unforgiving
- Awkward save points at times