Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Game Review: 'Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game'

I wonder what it says about my youthful development that I spent nearly every morning of my later elementary school years watching the 1988 exploitation flick "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" as it played on HBO. 

I was clearly not alone, because the oddball film, about an invasion of aliens who look like circus performers who off unsuspecting teens in comical fashion, has inspired the team at IllFonic Inc. to create a game in its image. The passion and attention to detail in crafting the characters, backgrounds and weaponry shows a deep appreciation for the movie's oddball brand of horror.

While heavily influenced by asymmetrical hunter/killer games such as "Predator" and, especially, "Dead by Daylight," there is plenty to distinguish the title as something unique and vibrant.

Matchmaking assigns you to play as a human or Klown. Each side has its advantages and drawbacks, with the lumbering, powerfully-armed Klowns trying to track down the lithe, quicker victims, who can either escape or take down their bullet-sponge opposition.

Creative, extravagant maps, which boast openable doors, vertical perches and multiple escape routes, make for a strategic, Pac-Man-style game of cat and mouse. Environmental objects can reshape the tone of battle at a moment's notice, shifting the advantage toward those who had been on the run.

The game even manages to pay tribute to the film's sordid humor, which leans on twisting carnival tropes into death traps. The game no doubt takes on an elevated level of entertainment if you're able to squad up with friends, with whom you can coordinate tactics, but even with strangers, it's still wildly entertaining. It's nice to see these Klowns resurrected from the trash heap of 1980s nostalgia.

Publisher provided review code.

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