In 2013, Hörberg Productions adapted their mobile release of Gunman Clive for the 3DS, and found an audience that appreciates a good, artistic, side-scrolling shooter. At its core, it was a simple game, akin to classics like Mega Man and Contra, but it was presented in a style unlike any other game on the platform. It was a truly satisfying experience, even if it was a bit on the short side. Two years later, Clive is called to take up arms once again in Gunman Clive 2, Hörberg Productions' straight-to-3DS sequel that should leave fans of the first game running and gunning with delight.
Realistically, Hörberg Productions is really just one man: Bertil Hörberg. Watching the credits roll in Gunman Clive 2 is almost humorous how many roles that Bertil fills. While he didn't make the game in a vacuum (he clearly had some help with things like the music and testing), most of the credit for both Gunman Clive games goes to Bertil. These two games are the only ones that he and Hörberg Productions have ever released, but with them he has set a high bar for himself, and it's the players that benefit from that.
What: Gunman Clive 2 follows very closely in the footsteps of its predecessor by offering up a minimalistic, 2D, side-scrolling shooter. The biggest difference between the two games is that Clive 2 starts off in the Wild West, but takes the titular character around the world in pursuit of the bandits. From the Atlantic Ocean to Australia, Clive has his work cut out for him as he battles his way through unforgiving levels, and past some rather unexpected bosses; all of which is set to the beautiful, unique, and now multi-colored backdrop of a Bertil Hörberg creation. One of the other big changes in the Clive sequel is that there are multiple characters from the start of the game. This time around, players can take on the bandits as Clive, Ms. Johnson (you might remember her from the first game), or Chieftain Bob (he's got a spear that he can use to strike enemies). This variety of characters helps increase the already appealing replay value of Clive 2, which should make an already hopeful proposition even more appealing.
Where: Due to Gunman Clive's staggering success on the 3DS as compared to the other platforms that it was also released on, Hörberg Productions decided to debut exclusively on the handheld. It's worth noting that this is one of the best games to play in 3D as the art style really lends itself to creating a wonderful experience on the 3DS. The fact that the game only costs $2.99 doesn’t hurt either.
Why: Gunman Clive 2 is a solid demonstration of what video games used to be like. It's a distilled, platforming experience that can be played over and over again. Sure, the game is short, and it should only take a couple of hours to beat, but there are plenty of reasons to go back a few more times for players to really getting their money's worth. The additions that Hörberg included, both gameplay and aesthetic, help make the game feel like a meaty follow up to the original. Fans should be delighted to see what kinds of adventures Clive has in store for him this time around (hint: there's dinosaurs). It's fun; it's challenging; and it's cheap. What more do you really want from a game these days?