With a bucket on his head, one man heads into the unknown to save his beloved wife.
That’s the basic premise of Clunky Hero, an action platformer available now on consoles and PC. Putting players in control of an unlikely hero, their quest to save their partner – kidnapped by an evil so menacing that no-one dare speak its name – will be arduous. But with some grit and determination – and also perhaps an upgrade or two – maybe they’ll once again be able to lead a life of marital bliss.
While rendered in 3D, Clunky Hero plays via a classic 2D perspective. The gameplay feels old-fashioned, too. Being somewhat a metroidvania, there’s a large interconnected world to explore, and to traverse it players are expected to do a fair amount of platforming while also engaging enemies in combat along the way. There are few RPG elements here though: while you will be gaining new equipment and abilities to help you on your travels, there’s no levelling up.
Still, it pays to talk to anyone up for a good natter, and completing the quests they occasionally give you does pay dividends. If you’re not being given consumables that can replenish your health or provide other benefits, you’re being provided with coin or perhaps even a new weapon. The latter come in particularly useful, unless you want to keep using the broom that you start out with to combat your enemies.
Perhaps the most notable thing about Clunky Hero is its wicked sense of humour. Every conversation here attempts to raise a chuckle, and every so often a gag hits the mark. The comedy on offer here won’t be to everyone’s tastes, though. And those with a keen eye might spot the odd mistake. What upsets us the most, however, is the noises that characters make when talking: if the words aren’t actually spoken, we’d rather silence, thank you.
Still, while Clunky Hero isn’t likely to rock anyone’s world, it’s entertaining enough. The combat and exploration are fairly enjoyable and rewarding despite being rather basic, and there is the occasional laugh to be had. Get stuck in and you’re likely to get engrossed in the act of saving your wife, Brunilde, from the Evil One. Just don’t expect it to have a spot on your Game of the Year list.