LadiesGamer steam CLeM demo

CLeM Review

Game: CLeM
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Puzzlevania
System: Steam (also available on Nintendo Switch)
Developers | Publishers: Mango Protocol | Iceberg Interactive
Controller Support: Yes
Price: US $15.99 | UK £13.50 | EU € 15,79
Release Date: February 6th, 2024

A Review code was used, with many thanks to Big Games Machine.

CLeM is a psychotic adventure with a touch of touch of mystery thrown in for good measure. It’s been released on Steam by developers Mango Protocol, the same team that brought us Strange Horticulture. Also, previously, Lottie played the demo of CLeM for a demo impression article, which can be found here. 

This is actually the 4th instalment in the psychotic adventure games that Mango Protocol have released. However, you don’t have to have played the previous games to enjoy CLeM.


CLeM Wake up says a voice
Wake up says a voice

You play the part of a rag-doll toy or servant. The servant is reminiscent of a toy or Sack Boy from Sackboy: A Big Adventure on Steam. Though this servant doesn’t have a zipper on his front, he has a zipper pouch on the back of his head.

When CLeM begins, the servant is in the basement of an old abandoned house; it doesn’t know why or how it got there. Then, an obscure and creepy voice awakens the servant from his slumber.

The voice tells the servant to pick up the book that is on the floor in front of the servant; this is his notebook; it is where he jots down his thoughts and any clues he discovers around the abandoned house and garden.

The voice instructs the servant to bring it “beauty”. So this is where the notebook you have picked up plays its part; you see that all the pictures and images are zoology and botany-related; that is your first clue of what “Beauty” is.

Investigate the Mansion

LadiesGamer steam CLeM demo
CLeM Notebook

Using the notebook and my investigative skills, I investigated the house; not all doors were accessible at once, and I eventually found myself in the greenhouse in the garden.

I managed to track down the “Beauty” that the voice wanted, which turned out to be a Butterfly that I caught in a tin can. Upon returning to the voice and handing over “Beauty”, the servant is placed back in the basement and gets reawakened by the voice, which this time asks for “Determination.” What could that be?

As the story plays a large part in CLeM, I don’t want to go into too much detail about the storyline, cause you know, spoilers. However, for the purposes of this review, I will say that Beauty and Determination are attributes that the voice asks you to find; there are quite a few more attributes to discover and take back to the voice as the story unfolds.

Fuse Objects Together

Use the Lens of Truth to find clues
Use the Lens of Truth to find clues.

The core gameplay of CLeM revolves around doing the bidding of the creepy voice and using magic, creating magical toys and fusing objects together, and overcoming various obstacles in the house. For instance, you will as find a piece of glass and fuse it with a handle to make the Lens of Truth.

Using the Lens of Truth on a painting
Using the Lens of Truth on a Painting

In turn, the Lens of Truth can be used to find other clues in paintings and such in the house that lead you to other items.

Furthermore, there are plenty of secrets to find in the house and puzzles to solve. You only have your notebook to keep you on the right track; there isn’t a dedicated hint system other than the notebook. So it’s up to you to spot the clues in the game environment, investigate everything in the creepy house and read the notebook.

Varied Puzzles and a Dark Story

This wine bottle puzzle had me stumped for a while.
This wine bottle puzzle had me stumped for a while.

The puzzles in CLeM are all pretty varied, for example, I’ve rearranged wine bottles on a wine rack and used a Runic Key to open locks on doors. Overall, I didn’t find the majority of the puzzles too difficult to solve, though there was the odd one or two that had me stumped for a few moments.

CLeM is a combination of occult and cute with dark twists and emotional themes like forgiveness, pride, redemption, and manipulation. I enjoyed the story even though psychotic adventure is a genre I don’t play often, and I liked investigating the house and the puzzles.

Visuals and Music

The game presents a haunting tale with its hand-drawn aesthetic. The lighting effects, shadows, music and sound effects all add to the atmosphere the gameplay is conveying to the player.

I played CLeM on PC using a controller, as the game fully supports controller use, and it all worked as you would expect. Unfortunately, the game crashed a few times during my playthrough, which momentarily broke my immersion in the gameplay.

If you want to try CLeM before you buy and add it to your Wishlist, there is a free prologue on Steam, CLeM: The First Attribute. 

CLeM says we're not finished yet!
We’re not finished yet!


All in all, I had a good time playing CLeM, and I liked reading about and checking out the drawings on alchemy, insects, and other creepy crawlies in the notebook. The house is full of interactive environments to explore. If you enjoy these types of adventure games, then CLeM has a desolate, abandoned house to explore and lots of questions to answer with mysteries to decipher, and you, too, can find out the story behind CLeM.

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot   I like it a lot


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