Clive 'N' Wrench

We currently live in a world where the grown-up dark and gritty and sci-fi shooters and games are still taking the planet by storm, reboots, remasters and re-imaginings of films and video games are becoming more frequent, the video game movies are the norm, companies are cashing in on the retro fad and 3D platformers are in the beginning of a renaissance and are slowly seeing the light of day.

Article by Wing See Li - follow on Twitter: xflowerstarx

Thanks to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, collectathon games like A Hat In Time, Yooka-Laylee and Lobodestroyoyo are becoming a reality.

Open-world/sandbox 3D platformers are the kind of games people and long-time, die-hard 3D action/adventure platformer or 3D platform action/adventure fans have been foaming at the mouth for, for countless years that hark back to the good ol’ simpler times such as the 90’s and early 2000’s.

According to Clive ‘N’ Wrench’s Kickstarter webpage, only £2,249 is pledged of the £25,000 goal. Despite the fact DinosaurBytes launched this campaign twice (the development team commenced their Kickstarter campaign back in May 2014 but they were overhasty in their actions. In other words, they acted before they think. So, they re-launched the campaign in 21st February 2015) and it’s unsuccessful, the game development is still fortunately in progress. Therefore, it’s been overshadowed by other indie, crowdfunding 3D platforming games such as Yooka-Laylee, A Hat In Time and Lobodestroyoyo.

In spite of this shortcoming, the game have developed a cult following throughout the years since it debuted in 2011 as, “Clive”, before the title of the game changed to “Clive And The Stones Of The Ancient Bunnies”.

Meet Clive, who is a blue-eyed, yellow-coloured baseball cap-wearing rabbit and the main protagonist of Clive ‘N’ Wrench as well as having a penchant for delicious, health-restoring carrot cake and Wrench, who is a little green trousers-sporting brown-furred monkey that rides in Clive’s backpack, his trusty travelling companion and his sidekick.

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Figure 1: The time-travelling duo from left to right: Clive the Rabbit and Wrench the Monkey.

Clive ‘N’ Wrench is in the same vein as the well-known, beloved 3D platformers of yesteryear that ever graced the 90’s and early 2000’s such as Banjo-Kazooie, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, the Jak & Daxter series, the Ratchet & Clank series and so forth. These games are the kind of games people still hold dear to their hearts and they hold them in high regard until this day and the numerous years to come. Though, this game is often compared to Banjo-Kazooie or Bugs Bunny: Lost In Time than anything else.

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Figure 2: Clive and Wrench don costumes to suit their individual time periods.

The storyline of Clive ‘N’ Wrench is Dr Daucus is attempting to obtain all of the Stones of the Ancient Bunnies that will grant immortality and immense power to anyone who possesses them. To keep Clive and Wrench off his back, he have an army of malevolent mutants at his disposal and he sends them back in time with the purpose of stopping the protagonists in their paths using a time machine. Luckily, Nancy Merricarp builds a time machine for the heroes to stamp out Dr. Daucus and thwart his world domination plans once and for all. Their time-hopping quest spans across over five vast, time era-based worlds each with their own environments and colour palettes.

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Figure 3: Dr Daucus, the main antagonist of the game.

The time-travelling twosome’s moveset contains the crouch jump ability (which requires a crouch followed by a jump), a side-flip (similar to the side somersault from Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine) which is performed when the left stick is flipped in the opposite direction they’re facing, an animal-like sprint which only Clive can execute, a standard running aptitude, climbing up and down the ladders, the WrenchCopter (this skill is originally a glide move which includes Wrench deploying a banana leaf to allow him and Clive landing to safety after being airborne or taking off from a high platform or ledge), double jump, Clive swinging Wrench around to attack enemies, destroying obstacles or activating switches, Wrench throwing his wrenches from a safe distance to assault adversaries, swimming on the surface of bodies of waters, swimming underwater, an underwater spin attack, performing a single jump and so forth.

Similar to Banjo-Kazooie, whenever the main characters dive underwater, the music transitions to the underwater version of it and vise versa once they resurface. Furthermore, every single level or world have their own underwater version of their themes.

The collectibles includes the multicoloured pocket watches and the Stones of the Ancient Bunnies. Accumulating the pocket watches that are spread all over the locations will help Clive and Wrench to fix the rifts caused by the disruption of the space-time continuum and gain access to other time periods. The Stones of the Ancient Bunnies will open unlockable sections of the hub world, new time era-based levels, boss battles and secrets. Speaking of the aforementioned stones, gathering these will remove the barricades Dr. Daucus positioned around the Space Between Time hub world.

In addition, the artwork of the characters are illustrated and coloured by Luigi Lucarelli, the soundtrack is composed and performed by Wyshwood Studio a.k.a. Kevin Wass as well being the person behind the sounds, Michael Saunders who coded the game, Blake Swift (better known as ShadyVox) is the freelance voice actor of Clive, Wrench and the other characters and the whole game is single-handedly created and developed by Rob Wass from DinosaurBytes. As a result of Luigi Lucarelli’s stylings, Clive, Wrench and the other characters have underwent an enormous, drastic character design overhaul.

Throughout the game, Clive and Wrench wear a wide range of clothing to match with the worlds they’re travelling around in which haven’t been seen before in decades since Mario Party 2, Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko and Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko. Furthermore, each of the levels or worlds is based on their respective time periods. For instance, Clive wears a suit of armour to correspond with the Middle Age Crisis level.

Speaking of the worlds and the levels, The Space Between Time hub world consists of more than six levels, which make up the aforesaid hub world. These levels are spread across space and time and are known as The Chimp, The Bag & The Bunny, A Grave Mistake, The Great Wen, Corsair’s Cove, Iceceratops, Tempus Tombs, Hare Today, Gong Tomorrow (this China-inspired level is originally named as Mental Oriental), Middle Age Crisis and the list goes on. However, the Mayan Magma level is scrapped from the level and world line-up.

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Figure 4: Clive and Wrench exploring Ancient China whilst a Chinese Dragon flies around it.

According to the article on the official Clive ‘N’ Wrench website and the latest update article on the Clive ‘N’ Wrench Kickstarter webpage, the Wii U version of the aforementioned game shared the same fate as the Wii U version of Yooka-Laylee due to Nintendo no longer providing support for the Wii U and the company ceased Wii U production. Unlike this game, the Wii U version of Yooka-Laylee got cancelled because of technical difficulties.

Despite the demise of the Wii U version, this game is slated for Steam, PC, Linux and Mac. DinosaurBytes also intends to release the abovementioned game for other consoles but it depends on how well it’s sold. Unfortunately, a release date is yet to be confirmed.

With a line-up of upcoming 3D open-world, platforming games slowly increasing with each passing year which life-long retro gamers could ever dream of, 2017 is already shaping up to be the Year of the 3D, open-world Platformers!

For more news, reviews and articles about Clive ‘N’ Wrench, keep it on GamesYouLoved.

Article by Wing See Li - follow on Twitter: xflowerstarx

Make sure to check out DinosaurBytes, Luigi Lucarelli and Wyshwood Studio a.k.a. Kevin Wass:

Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/classicgamejunkie/clive-n-wrench-3d-action-platformer/description

Official websites: http://www.indiedb.com/games/clive-and-the-stones-of-the-ancient-bunnies, http://luigil.artstation.com/ and https://sites.google.com/site/wyshwoodstudio/ 

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