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Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game: A Modern-Day Ghost in the Graveyard

Platform reviewed: Xbox Series S

Also On: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Steam

Price: $39.99

Typically, I wouldn't consider myself a fan of games inspired by horror movies. However, Killer Klowns from Outer Space breaks that assumption, both as a film and as a game. The game captures the film's quirky campiness, making it a perfect choice for a group of friends to play, even for those who might not have seen the movie.

Released in 1988, "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" is a film I highly recommend for those who haven't seen it yet. I'm not usually a fan of horror movies, but this one is an exception. It's campy, bizarre, and hilarious. The plot revolves around a group of alien clowns who land on Earth with one goal: to kill humans by encasing them in cotton candy cocoons and then drink their blood through straws. While that may sound unsettling when said out loud, the film is genuinely funny and delightfully silly, earning its status as a cult classic.

The game is a symmetrical multiplayer experience, pitting seven humans against three clowns. The object is for the Klowns to capture the humans and cause the Klownpocalypse, while the humans try to escape. The game effectively captures the essence of the movie, with the Klowns appearing grotesque and surreal. The human outfits perfectly embody the 80s aesthetic. At the start of every match, I have the option to select whether I want to play as a Klown or a human, or leave it up chance to decide for me. Personally, I normally opt to play as a Klown as I find it more enjoyable. Now, let's delve into the gameplay, beginning with the Klowns.

The Klowns notably lack the ability to leap over obstacles, which fortunately serves to maintain balanced gameplay. At my disposal, I have an array of tools and strategies to aid in capturing humans. One significant advantage is my ability to detect sound; noises made by humans, such as running, manifest as visual blips before me, allowing me to pinpoint their location. While I am equipped with a weapon and a cotton candy gun, I find myself seldom using the weapons outside of the cotton candy gun. Instead, I prefer to go full on and incapacitate them with the cotton candy gun. Encasing a human in cotton candy is a slow process—understandably, as it requires a substantial amount of cotton candy. During this time, the humans often attempt to escape, and if they're clever, they'll make their way through open windows—a maneuver that is unfortunately beyond my capabilities.

Each Klown possesses unique abilities that assist me in my pursuit. One of the most valuable skills is the Finger Lure, which belongs to the scout class of Klowns. This ability has the power to entrance humans, drawing them towards me in a hypnotic trance. Undoubtedly, it is the most advantageous skill in the game, significantly simplifying the process of capturing humans. There are a variety of Klowns at my disposal, each with their own set of abilities, such as the tracker class with balloon dogs that locate humans and a tank Klown capable of breaking through walls. But I tended to stick with the scout class.

After ensnaring the humans in cotton candy, I must transport the cocoon to a power generator. These generators are scattered across the level, making them relatively easy to locate. Nevertheless, the burden of carrying a cocooned human slows me down. By connecting all the generators with the cotton candy-wrapped humans, I can hasten the onset of the Klownpocalypse, effectively shattering the humans' hopes of victory.

Playing as a human presents more of a challenge. It evokes the essence of a contemporary ghost in the graveyard game: stay hidden while searching for valuable items before making my way to the exit. Several escape routes exist, but the simplest one I discovered involves escaping on a boat, which only requires a tank of gas and a spark plug. However, the boat has a capacity limit of three people, leading to instances where I had to leave some teammates behind. If all escape plans fail, there remains one last resort: in the final thirty seconds before the Klownpocalypse, the Terenzi Brothers will burst through a cotton candy barrier.

Progression in the game is achieved by accumulating experience, which unlocks new Klowns and various cosmetics. Arguably, this is the game's least compelling feature. While acquiring new Klowns and abilities is well-done, the cosmetic options for humans are less thrilling. However, my primary reason for playing isn't to level up; it's to enjoy quality time with friends, and this game excels in delivering that experience.

This brings me to my final point: Playing this game with friends is a significantly better experience. While playing with strangers can be enjoyable, playing with friends often leads to hilarious moments, such as ditching them to escape while they fend off Klowns. The laughter and joy I experienced while playing with my friends made the game truly worthwhile. Any game that can provide that level of enjoyment is definitely worth playing.

Final Grade: B

Killer Klowns from Outer Space summons the nostalgic thrill of a modern-day ghost in the graveyard. While I enjoyed playing as a Klown, taking on the role of a human also led to numerous hilarious moments. Whether a fan of the original movie or not, the game's whimsical antics and visually stunning design are sure to win many hearts. I highly recommend playing this game with friends, as the experience is greatly enhanced by sharing laughs and enjoying each other's company. Ultimately, that’s exactly what Killer Klowns offers—a genuinely fun time.

Review code provide by Stride PR and Illfonic


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