Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game Review – More Fun Than A Pie In The Face

It’s only a matter of time before IllFonic perfects the asymmetrical multiplayer experience. Say what you will about its previous games; each one offered entertaining tweaks to the formula, small yet clever innovations, and a seemingly better understanding of what makes this genre so compelling. Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game embodies all these aspects, making it one of IllFonic’s best asymmetric games yet.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game offers a familiar gameplay loop for the genre. Seven human players must quickly locate an escape route within a given environment, find its required tools – a gas can and spark plug for a motorboat, for example – and complete a series of skill checks to finally exit the map, all while being hunted by three Klown players. Humans are chased left and right as ominous giggles fill the air. Large popcorn-spewing guns prove to be as deadly as they are silly. Conspiracy nuts relay important information via ham radios. Matches start calmly enough before devolving into a hilariously chaotic mess.  

On their own, these typical gameplay mechanics would suffice. It’s what fans would expect from this type of game. What makes Killer Klowns From Outer Space stand out is how well it balances its competing roles, which is initially expressed through their inherent differences. The humans can loot around for weapons, helpful tools (like a compass that shows where a map’s exits are), and health/stamina-based items to gain an edge over their colorful pursuers. Their smaller size allows them to be quicker on their feet, sneak through windows, and hide relatively easily after breaking a Klown’s line of sight. And while taking on a Klown solo using the right weapons is possible, being a part of a larger group allows for more team-oriented tactics during a scuffle.

The Klowns, on the other hand, always pose an immediate threat. Not only are they usually sturdier than their human counterparts and have access to powerful abilities, but they also have time on their side; if the human players don’t escape within a 15-minute window, they’ll be caught up in an explosion dubbed the Klownpocalypse. Klown players can speed up this process by harvesting humans – i.e., zapping them with a ray gun until they’ve been encased in a cotton candy cocoon and then hooking them up to Lacky Generators scattered around the map – instead of outright killing them, ending the match prematurely.

This balancing of roles also extends to their varying objectives. The Klowns can cover exit routes with cotton candy that must be removed in order to interact with them. Humans need to take their time with most things, as failing a skill check or otherwise making noise will alert the Klowns to their whereabouts. That said, all hope isn’t lost if you’re caught out in the open, as death isn’t always permanent; humans can visit a resurrection machine, acting as a sub-objective, to bring their teammates back once per match.   

Killer Klowns From Outer Space has a ton of varied yet interconnected game mechanics that collectively succeed at keeping matches as fair as possible. I’m sure that’ll change as more players discover new strategies through prolonged play. But as of right now, no role dominates the other when playing with a full lobby, resulting in one of the most entertaining asymmetrical games I’ve ever played. It’s fun hunting down unsuspecting humans and bashing them into submission with a giant mallet. Using my particular Klown’s special abilities to close the gap on a fleeing victim is also a highlight; ramming folks with an invisible car or tracking them using a living balloon dog never gets old.

Likewise, finding new ways to elude pesky Klowns as a fleetfooted teen always got the blood pumping. Successfully completing a final skill check as the last living player while hearing the sound of big floppy shoes a few feet away is exhilarating. The same can be said of facing a Klown head-on with only one bullet left, knowing that if I missed their rubber nose (their primary weak spot), I would get a face full of deadly popcorn. And because my death was most likely brought upon by some whacky ability or weapon, I always found myself laughing at what happened over being frustrated.

 

The core gameplay isn’t the only appealing aspect of Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Visually, it’s a treat for movie fans as the vibrant ‘80s aesthetics permeate everything within its five well-designed maps. The humans look decent enough, especially after unlocking more cosmetic options. All five of the creepy-looking Klowns are impressive, though. It’s like they’ve been lifted right from the film the game is based on. I especially love their Klowntatities. These special finishing moves are cinematic, cutting to gamified versions of iconic moments from the movie, letting you and your foe act them out in the middle of a match.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space can be extremely entertaining at times. Unfortunately, it does have some glaring issues that keep it from reaching its true potential. There are plenty of bugs to contend with; glitching objectives, occasional crashes, and more plague what is otherwise a fun experience. 

IllFonic has announced plans to address many of the biggest issues I found while playing. However, even in its current state, aside from one bug that resulted in losing cosmetic unlock progress, the bugs I encountered weren’t egregious. Still, it’s worth noting that Killer Klowns from Outer Space still has plans to improve in these areas.

In its current state, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game is a good asymmetrical multiplayer game. The gameplay mechanics that help balance the competitive roles reinforce the lessons IllFonic has learned over the years, while its comical nods to the film and impressive graphics showcase the respect given to the source material. If IllFonic can iron out the bugs in the coming patch and provide solid post-launch content, Killer Klowns From Outer Space could become the best this genre has to offer.

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