Clea Nintendo Switch Review

Clea Nintendo Switch Review

By: John C. Mayberry

Anime has been a staple in pop culture entertainment for many decades now, known for its unique artistic style and their deep, sometimes over the top storylines (depending on what you’re watching) that have made this medium so memorable and well-loved for generations. Apply the horror element to that however, and you have an experience in terror you will not get from anywhere else. Clea, originally released on PC, and available for Nintendo Switch as of October 30, 2020, is one of the best examples I have ever seen not only of the horror anime style, but of the survival horror genre of gaming as well. From the puzzles down to the run and hide strategy to avoid the monstrosities that lurk around every corner of the Whitlock mansion, Clea is certain to be one of the most entertaining experiences you will ever have being scared.

The story centers on the titular protagonist of the game, Clea, a young girl who has been locked within the confines of the Whitlock family mansion by her parents, who are experimenting with creatures called Chaos Servants. The Chaos Servants have escaped and are now stalking every corner of the mansion as you try to make it through every locked door and puzzle designed to keep you trapped inside, all the while being tormented by something called the War Maiden, who appears to be the dark counterpart of Clea herself. Through cryptic notes, journal entries and the collection of memory orbs, more of the story, and the Whitlock family’s dark secrets are revealed to you in a way that’s not only like watching a horror anime on your TV screen, but also reminiscent of a children’s story book with the 2-D animation and graphic style used to great effectiveness.

A game with a great anime horror vibe that induces a degree of the addictive panic and dread horror fans love and appreciate, Clea is not a game you ever want to pass on. It is a true test of your ability to contain your nerves and maintain patience as you help Clea avoid the Chaos Servants and other horrors, and ultimately help her find her way out of the puzzle of a mansion, and out to the world her parents sought to keep her away from. Clea for the Nintendo Switch is as un-nerving as it is fun and could not become available at a more appropriate time of year. This is very much a game that’s worth checking out.


  • Survival horror element – Contains many of the classic elements of the survival horror genre of gaming, requiring the player to be more stealthy, evasive and all around more strategic rather than fighting back.
  • Exudes horror – Everything from the game’s animation, camera angles, soundtrack, character, enemy and environment design, lighting, and color hues used all blend together perfectly for a unique horror experience.
  • Replay value – You’re timed on how fast you can complete each level and are given certain optional objectives that can earn you greater rewards (ex: escape without hiding, escape without being seen, etc…). Players can continuously challenge themselves on how quickly they can finish a level as well as how many optional objectives they can complete in a single run.
  • Anime art style – The character and enemy designs in addition to level designs are very consistent with many well-known horror manga. Very likely to attract a wide range of gamers with its blend of two very popular genres.
  • Story shrouded in mystery – The game’s story is not all revealed right away, but rather in bits and pieces in notes and journal entries found throughout the game, revealing more about the Whitlock family’s dark secrets as you progress. A great way to keep the player engaged and wanting to see what happens next.
  • Clever puzzles – The puzzles are designed in such a way that they’re definitely a fun mental workout. Fans of the survival horror genre will certainly appreciate this as puzzles are still a widely used feature in almost all games.


  • Patience is key – Although the anxious feelings horror fans may experience are all in good fun, the more impatient gamer is likely to be impulsive, which can lead to repeatedly making mistakes, causing them to replay a particular section over and over. That combined with the fact that the player does need to have some degree of patience in some parts of the game, especially those that require you to hide from the Chaos Servants for periods of time, may be enough to turn some people off to the experience.
  • Different experience with and without headphones – It is common for games of this genre to advise the player to use headphones to enhance the experience, which with Clea is used to an excellent effect. Without headphones, a bit of the horror experience is lost as the sounds aren’t as impactful or powerful sounding. A minor setback of course, but one that does provide a noticeably different experience depending on the player’s use of headphones.

OVERALL RATING – 9.5 out of 10

Take some of the best of the worlds of anime and horror, put them together with an unsettling soundtrack, and a style of gameplay that reminds you how truly and terrifyingly out of your element you are as you’re required to run and hide rather than stand and fight, and Clea is the result. Some of the most fun any player will have in being scared and made anxious in any game they’ll ever play.

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