I came across Clam Man in an odd way – I was actually browsing reddit when I came across it in an indie gaming subreddit. It immediately conjured up memories of Putt Putt and Spy Fox and for that reason, I had to get in touch with the devs to see how I can get my hands on their title.
Clam Man is, on the face of it, a pretty bog standard indie point and click adventure. You have the cartoony graphics, the pointing, the clicking. All pretty usual stuff, but it does say that it is a “hilarious” adventure, which is always the enticing thing for me. I do love a game with good humour, although I do enter into it with a bit of hesitation because a lot of games have promised hilarity, only to provide a flat experience. For the first quarter of an hour, I did think this was going to be one of those slightly disappointing as it was using a lot of relatively safe and boring jokes. However, as soon as I stopped clicking everything in my cubicle to try to find a joke there, and progressed the game, I had a lot of belly laughs. I don’t think there were many conversations and situations in the game that didn’t make me have at least a chuckle.
The puzzles can often be hit and miss in indie point and click games. I’ve not encountered many that have both a great story and strong puzzles, but Clam Man definitely hits that, at least for me. The story is very short, which is a mark against it, but what is there is, as I’ve already said, very funny. Due to this, there aren’t really many puzzles in the game. But they are challenging – and even the hardest one in the game lets you make it harder if you so choose.
Blink and you’ll miss it. Can clams blink?
The major downside to Clam Man is it’s brevity. I think I managed to finish the first play through after an hour, although admittedly I hadn’t explored everything and hadn’t spoken to everyone. I feel like, if you wanted to speedrun the game, you’d probably be able to get it all done in around half an hour, maybe less than that even. For me, that’s not long enough. Even if I was absolutely hating the game and wanted it to be over, I want it to be longer than an hour or two. The real shame with Clam Man is that due to it being so enjoyable, when it ended I just felt disappointed that the developers didn’t put more time into the story because, in all honesty, I could definitely do with more Clam Man in my life. They teased a second game, so who knows, maybe I’ll get my wish.
The Final Word
A great laugh, yes, but a very short lived one. There is some replayability in order to see everything and gain all of the achievements, but every time the game threatened to get into some story, it did a Family Guy style cutaway to shorten it. All in all, you’ll probably only get around two to three hours of gameplay out of it. It’s probably not a game for everyone, but if you want an intro into point and click adventures, in the style of the old Humongous Entertainment style games, then this is probably a good choice.