Clid The Snail is a top-down, twin-stick shooter starring a grumpy, boozy anthropomorphic snail. Set in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic world in which humans — i.e. the Giants — have become extinct and animals have reclaimed the earth. Well, I say animals, and sure, they are “technically” animals but not the ones we’re used to seeing.
These guys live in organised societies housed inside citadels. These citadels are homogenous and only cater for one species each. So, Clid comes from the Snail citadel but there are also Grasshopper, Rabbit, Beetle, Gecko and Turtle citadels among others.
Clid the Snail has a sort of Redwall by way of 90s Nickelodeon vibe to it. It’s light-hearted and weird and goes all-in on building its world and characters. And it mostly succeeds. The world of Clid the Snail is a place you’ll enjoy visiting, however, it’s probably not one you’ll be dying to get back to in a hurry.
Clid the Snail Review
After being voted out of his Citadel for crimes against snail kind, Clid sets out to survive on his own in this bizarre and dangerous world. Unfortunately for Clid, all slugs everywhere have become murderous and violent for unknown reasons. Barely escaping with his life, Clid heads to the nearby Grasshopper Citadel in hopes of some answers and maybe a pint or two.
On arriving at the Citadel, Clid’s run of luck continues when he discovers Ska the mouse burning the entire place down with a flamethrower. After defeating Ska, Clid joins a group of outcast animals in their own Citadel and begins working with them to solve the slug crisis.
From here, the blueprint for the game is laid out. Clid goes out on a mission to assist a group of animals, battles his way through a linear level, fights a boss and heads home. Rinse and repeat. Along the way, Clid meets a colourful cast of characters, makes some friends, comes out of his shell (hurr hurr) and becomes the hero he was always meant to be.
Clid The Snail’s worldbuilding is its best asset. It’s really easy to get pulled into the bizarre universe of animal societies and all of the eccentricities that go along with it. However, like the homogeneous citadels, the gameplay in Clid The Snail is one note.
From start to finish, you’ll be doing the exact same thing in Clid The Snail. Each level is essentially linear and as you push forward, you’ll fight waves of enemies until you reach the boss. There’s some slight variation in enemy types but not enough to make a considerable impact on how you play. Similarly, while Clid has access to a range of weapons, they don’t offer much in the way of varied gameplay. Instead, they simply change the animation and deal slightly different damage numbers.
It’s a real shame since there are a bunch of different guns that could be a lot of fun. Sadly, the biggest difference you’ll get is rate of fire. In the end, you’ll probably find one gun you prefer and stick with that for no reason other than personal preference. For me, I stuck with the default gun because it has infinite ammo and then switched to the submachine gun on occasion.
Aiming and shooting does feel pretty good though. You can aim with the right stick or press L2 to fine aim. The addition of fine aiming adds benefit to combat, especially when you’re facing down a swarm of enemies or fighting one of the game’s many bosses. Fine aiming doesn’t come without a downside though. When pressing L2, Clid’s movement slows to a crawl, so you’ll need to make every shot count or become overwhelmed.
In addition to shooting, Clid has grenades, great for clearing out a swarm, and a range of different shells, each with the own special ability. Clid’s shells can fire a rocket barrage, unleashed a swirling blizzard, deploy a shield and more. The shells are a good idea and do enhance the gameplay somewhat, but they’re not entirely game-changing. They’re a nice addition, but not something which elevates Clid The Snail beyond other twin-stick shooters.
Outside of exploring levels and shooting up bad guys, Clid The Snail includes some light puzzle solving. All of these puzzles are of the “align the lasers” variety (see above) and are all very simple. They do help break up the exploration and combat a bit but not a great deal and by the third or fourth time you have to “solve” one, you’ll probably be in eye-roll territory.
It’s not that the gameplay or puzzle-solving or shooting is bad, it’s not, it’s just not a revolution. Clid The Snail is enjoyable and romping through the campaign is a good time, it’s just not anything we’ve never seen before.
Unfortunately, Clid The Snail finishes just as it starts to get interesting and the plot sadly becomes all too predictable. Not only that, the final stages of the game include some really egregious difficulty spikes which are of huge detriment to the overall experience. After a decent experience for the majority of the game, hitting these difficulty spikes leaves a pretty sour taste and once the credits roll, I was left not particularly satisfied or keen on playing through again.
Overall, Clid The Snail is a decent game. It’s not revolutionary, nor is it going to blow you away, however, it’s well worth a lazy Saturday afternoon on the couch and lays a good foundation for a potential series.
Clid The Snail was reviewed on PS4 using a digital copy provided by the publisher.