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  • Writer's pictureAidan O'Donnell

Review - Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game

Developer: IllFonic and Teravision Games

Publisher: IllFonic

Available on: PC (Steam), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S

Reviewed on: PC

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is an online multiplayer asymmetric horror game. What do all those buzzwords mean? You will be placed randomly per game onto the Klown or Human team, and then the humans run from the Klowns with the goal of escaping the region where the game is played. On the other side the titular Krazy Klowns have the goal of hunting and harvesting the human players and preventing their escape. The game is three versus seven with 3 hunters and 7 runners. Each side has their own goal creating a game of cat and also cat, it'll make more sense as we go along in this review.

Mathematically the most played team will be the human survivors so let's start with them. There’s a nice customization area before you begin your battle against the alien menace. It’s not the largest character creator in the world but it has a selection of 80s-inspired outfits and the option to change your skills as you progress through the leveling up system. The classes for humans are called archetypes, there are 5 different ones to unlock then choose. They are athletic, rebellious, heroic, resourceful, and tough. Athletic which is the default and first you unlock is the highest movement and stamina archetype, this will allow the new players to flee from the Klowns. Athletic characters can easily outpace a single Klown so the only way to get caught is if you get trapped in a dead end or if the Klowns use their abilities to trap you. Next is rebellious which is similar to athletic but has slightly less stamina and movement but with some strength and a bit more health. This gets them towards the more interesting part of the humans in this game, they can fight back. As a human, you can fight back! With the assistance of your fellow humans or by sheer force of will human players can beat the Klowns to death (or some facility). The next is the heroic archetype which has the second highest strength but much less movement compared to the other 2. Then resourceful who lacks stamina but has high movement and strength. Finally, there’s the tough archetype who is all strength with little movement and stamina.

Now that you have your custom 80s horror movie protagonist you can get into the game. Humans spawn at random locations around the map with no items. Your goal is to escape this place and help the other humans as well. Around the map there are containers with items inside, these can be healing items and energy drink boosters or weapons and throwables. Additionally, you can find key items that will help you make your escape. Items for escape are things like gasoline for getaway vehicles, keys for gates and bridges, or key cards to access special bunkers. Those weapons you can find are definitely not for show, by the way. You can find guns and melee weapons to use on those poor Klowns. Once you have a weapon the hunted can become the hunter, the Klowns are surprisingly easy to kill. Aim for their noses for critical damage and they go down pretty fast. I found the only time Klowns were a real threat was if you were caught unarmed or if you had to fight multiple. Luckily, even if you are killed by the Klowns there is a one-time use revive for all killed humans. One of the more interesting mechanics in this game is that even whilst dead or escaped you can help the other humans by playing mini games. There is a selection of 80s-themed video games that you can play and get given a random item, including surprisingly the key items for people to escape. I will say from my personal play time that I found escaping incredibly easy and fast, it would take me less than 5 minutes out of the 20-25 that the game encompassed for me to get my shit and get out.

Time for the fun bit, playing as the titular Krazy Klowns! Your job is to work together to kill and harvest the humans. Just like in the movie you are in this for the sweet cotton candy cocoons. Klowns also have classes going by Klown Type. There are 5 just like with the humans, Ranger, Tracker, Trapper, Tank, and Brawler. Now I find it very strange that even with the different types the only thing that appears to change is the stats and appearance. They don’t appear to have any specialized skills per type. Ranger is a well-balanced class, Tracker has high senses which lets you see little white circles where humans make noise at a longer distance, Trapper has the highest stamina, Tank is a slow meat brick, and Brawler is the fastest. As a scary space monster, you get an array of weapons to choose from however I was only able to use a few since I didn't make it to max level in the early access. There are also fun abilities from the movie which are the real shining star for Klown power. You start with Hypnotic Lure which does what it says, a human in pretty close range gets pulled towards you letting you kill them without all the running away business. Balloon Dog tracks the humans down for you. There’s the invisible car to chase and run the poor humans down. The last one I didn't get to use or see in game as it takes max level but is Pizza Box, which I assume is bait and trap. If you down humans instead of cocooning them then you can do a KLOWNTALITITE which pulls you both into a fun execution cutscene with things from the movie, like the puppet theater or shadow puppet scenes. There’s also a little bit of customization but not really a lot.

When you spawn in, your objectives are to hunt humans and stack up cotton candy. There are scattered random cotton candy cocoons that you can hang up that will spawn little helper Klowns and speed up the end-game countdown. Humans will make little white circles when they make noise and red circles when they mess up the quick time events for escape options. Helper Klowns are a nice addition and the main reason why I do my best to stack up cocoons early. Helpers can carry cocoons for you and will grab humans that get too close. After a few minutes of gameplay, you’ll start unlocking your Klown powers. The first one is a map-wide jump/teleport that is very useful to stop humans from escaping and help out your fellow Klowns in capturing them. When fighting humans you can turn them into cotton candy cocoons and hang them up for huge points or you can down them with melee and use the KLOWNTALITIE for style. However, as I said/typed earlier the humans will arm themselves and are very capable of fighting back so best to try and isolate the weak or group up to fight the groups. In my opinion, it’s best to focus on gathering to speed up the end of the game and get the little lads to help out.

So with gameplay covered, how is the game? Personally, I’ve found it much more fun to be the Klown than the human but I see a world where queuing with a group of friends could make it much more exciting. The problem does start to show itself there though, with games like these it lives and dies on the player base. Smart and dangerous Klowns or humans will make any encounter much more rewarding than killing the bots they have programmed to fill the holes where people aren’t. It’s a fun and cool game built on a very cool concept, but if it doesn’t find ways to keep people in it for a long while it will fade and become nothing. Also with the price of 40 USD, I’m not sure who this will attract except people with nostalgia for the old movie. My recommendation is to wait for a sale and have fun with the wave of people that will come in then, otherwards I don’t see this game keeping people for too long. Perhaps they can use the assets to make a campaign and play out the events from the film, but that’s a lot of resources I don’t think they’ll have.

Codes for this game were provided to the Stack Up Discord Community and our writers by Stride PR and Illfonic. We thank them for their generosity in providing codes we can use for mental health game nights.

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