When the pitch for Spanish developer Weird Beluga’s upcoming top-down shooter Clid the Snail was simply “what happens when you combine a snail with a gun?” I knew I was going to like the game. One look at the character, I thought it was both ridiculous and definitely the kinda silly that I’m usually all about.
You play as Clid, a humanoid snail armed with various guns, grenades, and mines armed to the radula. I got to go hands-on with a preview demo. The combat feels satisfying, especially with the more powerful weapons like the double-barrel shotgun and the automatic weapons. Although Weird Beluga made sure to note the weapons in the preview demo wouldn’t all be unlocked in this early area of the game in the full release.
For the most part, the combat is what you’d expect out of a top-down shoot, which is to say it’s not doing anything particularly wrong or exciting either. I floated through the demo feeling like I’d played many games like Clid the Snailbefore because I have; the most exciting part of the game was the world and characters — which I’ll get to in a moment. Weird Belgua stated they aim to create methodical and challenging combat and mentioned that Returnal developer Housemarque significantly influences the studio. Based on what I’d played in the demo, there needs to be some tightening up of the combat to meet these criteria because, at the moment, it’s playing as an a-typical top-down shooter, not one where my positioning or shooting felt like it needed to be all too strategic.
After a brief walk through the world created for Clid the Snail, I was hooked by the story and post-apocalyptic design. Humans lived on this Earth but have long since left, which may or may not be explained in the full game. However, the remnants of the human world remain, and they’ve been changed and fitted for the remaining miniature creatures like Clid that now roam the globe.
The snails live in a citadel together, but Clid was expelled from his home citadel alongside his faithful firefly companion, Belu. There’s a mysterious plague that’s threatening to destroy the world, and Clid falls into a hero’s journey to save the world alongside a group of friends he meets early in the game.