Clive ‘N’ Wrench is a throwback 3D platformer created by one developer, Rob Wass, working for over a decade. As you might imagine from that, the end result is both heartfelt and fiddly. It’s a fascinating trip back to the glory days of the PS1 and N64 collectathon platformers that the developer clearly loves. It’s also filled with glitches and floaty jumps that are hard to land. It has input lag at times, and if you’re playing on Switch there’s a lot of loading.
Yes, absolutely. I get all of this. But I have already lost one morning to Clive ‘N’ Wrench, and, reader? I suspect I am going to lose another. That’s because Clive ‘N’ Wrench, for all its problems, is a return to something I have discovered that I really enjoy – the expansive worlds of old platformers.
The first level is a perfect example. Clive ‘N’ Wrench throws you through a bunch of different time periods, I gather, but it kicks off with a sort of Honey I Shrunk the Kids pastiche. You’ve got a kitchen, living room and bathroom to explore, but you’re absolutely tiny. It feels like Banjo Kazooie mixed with Micro Machines. I leap from sponges in the sink and dance past gas hobs. I climb chairs to get onto breakfast tables. I navigate the toothbrush pot by the bathroom mirror.
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