Clunky Hero from Chaosmonger Studio is a 2D Metroidvania with a dash of RPG featuring a storybook-style presentation. Learn more in our Clunky Hero review!
Clunky Hero from Chaosmonger Studio is a 2D Metroidvania with a dash of RPG featuring a storybook-style presentation. The studio previously gave us the dystopian adventure game Encodya on Nintendo Switch, so this one is definitely a very different type of experience! As I played through the game, I ended up getting some Shrek vibes from it due to the overall fairy tale setting and the art style.
Oh, and before I forget, there’s something you need to know about Clunky Hero: you can only play it in Portable Mode. This is something that sometimes happens with games that rely on the console’s touchscreen, so being able to only play in Portable Mode is to be expected. But Clunky Hero is a Metroidvania, and not being able to play in Docked Mode – while not a deal-breaker – is certainly a weird scenario.
Chaosmonger Studio took Clunky Hero to Kickstarter back in 2020, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign had a low goal of only €12,500, and once it was all said and done, close to 400 backers pledged for a total of a little over €14,000. The game was originally planned with a 2021 release, but, as was the case for pretty much every video game worked on over the last handful of years, the project suffered from some delays, thus its 2023 launch. Even though the Switch version was considered as a €20,000 stretch goal – which was not reached – we now get to play the game on Nintendo’s hybrid console.
And now, a bit about the game’s story. It all starts in a village far, far away, where a peasant known as Rufus is living an ordinary, regular life. His wife, Brunilde, is the one who is in charge of running everything in the house. They were both very happy until one day, the Evil One decided it was time to wreak havoc. His minions started to attack the villagers, and they even kidnapped Brunilde! She was taken to a cell in the Evil One’s Castle and was transformed into a weird blond doll girl who spends all of her time looking at a small handheld mirror. Rufus decides to set out on a quest to rescue her, so he fashions a helmet from a bucket, grabs a broom to use as a weapon and tries to save the day, vanquishing all enemies on his path.
To get the hang of things, your wife’s memory will help you at the start of the game. You’ll control Rufus with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, looking up and down as needed to get a better view of what you’ll be going up against. You can press the L button to walk instead of run, in case you want to take things slowly. The B button is for jumping, while the Y button is for attacking. You can interact with objects and NPC with the X button. The ZL button can be pressed to open up your map so that you can see where you’ve already been to and where you should be going. Press the – button, and you can open up your inventory.
Since this is a Metroidvania, that means that you won’t start with all abilities available to you right away. You’ll first have to find them to be able to use them! Said abilities include the always classic double jump, as well as a dash that is mapped to the R button, a blast attack that is set to the ZR button, an armpit shot you can use by pressing the A button, as well as a mighty bump that you can activate with the right analog stick.
What types of items can you find to aid you on your journey? You can find a chicken leg drumstick to recover 25 hit points, a mug of lager beer to restore some of your lost health, or a medium-rare pork knuckle for a yummy meal. The coins that you collect can be spent to pay the mole to fast travel. You could also spend them to purchase wine to recover some of your MP, a very salty pretzel that can double the damage you deal for 10 seconds, or a farting cider that will make Rufus fart to deal damage over a specific area.
If you visit Magda, you can find some other items for you to purchase with your hard-earned coins. There you will find a magic baguette that can make Rufus invincible for 10 seconds, a large maggot cheese that can heal 100 hit points thanks to its delicious flavor, a psylo mushroom that will add a regen effect that will heal 2 HP every 2 seconds over a 30 second period – which, as math tells me, means it can heal you for 30 HP total – or a golden weapon secret map that will reveal the location for a secret weapon… as long as you manage to cover its cost of only 500 coins.
There are a lot of things for you to do in Clunky Hero, as well as many items to collect. You can review your progress to see how much you’ve done and what percentage you still have left. Do know that there are 5 secret weapons to find, 16 sidequests to complete, 35 secret rooms for which you’ll need to search high and low, and 9 bonus items. And for every 10 of an enemy type that you defeat – or when you beat a boss – you will get their card added to the Enemypedia. That means that if you want to 100% the game, then you’ll have to backtrack to search for new stuff as you add new abilities.
Clunky Hero is a 2D Metroidvania with a dash of RPG that will keep you busy searching for all its hidden rooms and collectibles. It features a very specific type of humor that you’re either going to love or hate – see the farting cider. On top of that, some of the enemies you’ll be fighting include a lost hipster as well as a drunken bee that is still drinking while flying, which is never recommended. You also need to remember that it’s a game that can only be played in Portable Mode or on a Nintendo Switch Lite, which seems a bit odd since it’s not a game that relies on touch controls. Clunky Hero is out on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 asking price.
Disclaimer This Clunky Hero review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Chaosmonger Studio.