Clunky Hero Review Ladies Gamers

Clunky Hero Review

Game: Clunky Hero
Genre: Metroidvania, Platformer, Comedy, Action, RPG
System: Switch (Also available for Steam and GoG (Windows, Mac, Linux))
Developer | Publisher: Chaosmonger Studio
Age Rating: US T | EU 12+
Price: US $14.99 | UK £14.99 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: January 25th, 2023

Review code used, with many thanks to Chaosmonger Studio.

Clunky Hero is a Metroidvania with a humorous hero and a funny story to tell. It has beautiful, storybook-like graphics that remind me a lot of Shrek, and it has the same kind of silly vibes as well.

Clunky Hero Review Ladies Gamers
So pretty!

A New Review of Clunky Hero

When I first played and wrote about Clunky Hero, I made the error of attempting to play it on TV Mode. According to the eShop description of this Metroidvania, the game doesn’t work at all in TV Mode, and I failed to notice that on the first playthrough and with my review. I found the cutscenes and gameplay to be janky and jumpy; if anyone tries to play it in TV Mode, it plays like this:

Thankfully, the cutscenes look a million times better in handheld mode. Let’s see if this quirky little game is easier to play in handheld.

The Look and Feel of Clunky Hero

Like most Metroidvanias, players begin in a sort of central location, and each upgrade they earn allows them to explore more and more of the map. This means a lot of backtracking through places you’ve already been before to find all the locations where Clunky Hero needed, say, Double Jump before, but he did not possess it then. I have enjoyed this type of title before: Hollow Knight, Castlevania, and the like.

Clunky Hero Review Ladies Gamers
I don’t think making fun of the way women take selfies is funny, but I guess some people would.

Unlike most of its platforming cousins, however, Clunky Hero has a very goofy, comical vibe and a storybook kind of look to it that is appealing. It feels like a brighter, sillier version of Hollow Knight, and I love the way this game looks. The views are charming, the trees and village homes look idyllic, and there is something really beautiful about the way the visuals of Clunky Hero are put together.

Clunky Hero Doesn’t Play as Well as It Looks

Unfortunately, the game doesn’t play as well as it looks. A lot of its goofy humour seems to fall flat. You fight off Hipsters in the woods, giant angry maple leaves, and have a farting potion that does AOE damage. The silly, goofy vibes it gives off are a little stale. Thankfully, there don’t seem to be any “I hate my spouse” jokes in this one.

Clunky Hero Review Ladies Gamers
Why are we fighting hipsters again?

The platforming is smooth when the frames are good (and they aren’t always good). The game got jumpy through several parts where there were more than like two NPCs moving around. Overall, it wasn’t jarring enough to make me quit playing. However, there were some things in Clunky Hero that did make me want to stop trying.

Clunky Hero Review Ladies Gamers
That leaf is both massive and very, very angry.

Every time a player takes damage, the whole screen blinks red, making it difficult to see what you’re doing to dodge whatever is coming your way or get back on the platform you fell from for a second. The effect was much harsher in TV Mode, but in handheld mode, it was still an annoyance.

The Lack of Polish

I came across a handful of places where this one soft lock bug would shut down play completely. I have yet to figure out exactly what triggers it, but it happened three or four times in an hour or two. I was playing Clunky Hero for the second time. It occurred at the end of a jump; I would freeze in place, and nothing would allow me to move. I had to reset the game each time this happened to get it to stop.

Button Switching

The developers also switched the function of the A and B buttons. The Switch has a unique layout of buttons; unlike the PS5 or the Xbox, where the bottom of the four buttons is SELECT while the right of the four action buttons is CANCEL, the Switch always has the A button as SELECT and the B button, which is on the bottom, as CANCEL. Clunky Hero switched these, making the A button back and B button select. It was jarring and would be jarring for anyone used to the way the Switch’s Joy-Cons are traditionally laid out.

All that coupled with the sort of janky overall feeling of the game, the complete lack of a TV Mode, and the stale jokes it made, I just don’t think I’m ever going to like Clunky Hero. It’s a shame because this game is ridiculously pretty. I think I could fall in love with it on a different platform maybe, where I’m not already frustrated with having to play in handheld mode.

Clunky Hero Review Ladies Gamers
A fart cloud…

I don’t buy Switch ports for a reason; games that aren’t made for this console tend to run poorly on it, and I would have preferred to get a Steam or GOG key for Clunky Hero instead. I was thinking it would have improved my overall interaction with it, and that the things that make it a bad game for the Switch wouldn’t necessarily make it bad for other platforms.

So I Bought it On PC

So, I did, I bought it on Steam to give it a whirl. I meditated and played a little Fire Emblem: Three Houses first to make sure I wasn’t bringing any of my own bad vibes from the previous playthrough. It was like a whole different game.

Clunky Hero Review Ladies Gamers
Sorry, your wife is in another castle.

Clunky Hero on PC runs like butter; the graphics are a million times better, and the best part: I couldn’t see to reproduce the soft lock that I got so many times on the Switch. The movement feels better, the world looks better, and my hands don’t ache from holding onto a console. The only problem I had with the PC version was that when you turn the volume of the voices down in the sound setting, it only changes the volume of some of the NPCs’ voices and not others.


In all honesty, I think the developers really hampered themselves on this one. They should have sent out the PC version to reviewers in the first place. Overall, I love the game on PC. But I have to review the copy I was given, and the Switch port just isn’t good.

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure
I'm not sure

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