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  • Writer's pictureJames Stephanie Sterling

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game - No Fooling (Review)

Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game

Released:  May 28th, 2024

Developer: Zynga, NaturalMotion

Publisher: Zynga, LucasFilm Games, Satan

Systems: PC, PS5 (reviewed), Xbox X/S


It’s another one.


What more can you even say at this point? Killer Klowns is just another post-Friday asymmetrical horror game turning an old movie into just another drab scavenger hunt.


Hell, they even managed to make customizing your own Killer Klown boring - intensely limited in options, most of which are locked behind a grindwall anyway, with the best stuff exclusive to in-app purchases.

After all, nothing screams “monster clown silliness” like a game full of almost identical character models that have no personality. Nothing nails the schlock of the movie like quietly crouching in an almost silent forest while equally mute monsters wander around and circle strafe your friends. 


What an absolute waste.


The fact we’re already onto a movie like Killer Klowns from Outer Space should indicate how desperate this subgenre is. Killer Klowns is a fine enough B-movie, mostly known for an amazing theme song that you might hear playing on an in-game radio rather than anywhere important. It’s nonetheless a niche film that’s nowhere near as well regarded as Friday the 13th. I don’t see much longevity here.

Like I say, it is just another one. Just another game in which some players are baddies and everyone else is stuck wandering around undynamic maps littered with random objects, trying to find the exits and the items needed to use said exits.


That really is it. Just a scavenger hunt that, fundamentally, has no ideas of its own. There are a few shallow twists to give it a Killer Klown flavor, implemented in such a routine, unenergetic fashion as to be completely bland. Otherwise, it’s standard fare. 


Klowns come in teams of three, facing off against seven humans. Slower than humans and always making noise with their squeaky shoes, Klowns use a variety of stupid abilities and weapons unlocked as part of a grinding drip feed to be able to take down any human they can isolate.

In a semi-thoughtful way of implementing something from the film, Klowns can either outright kill or cocoon their prey in candy floss. If cocooned, humans can be hooked up to machines that generate little minions and speed up the Klownpocalypse endgame, though there’s a limited window in which their teammeats can free them. 


If you play for long enough, you’ll unlock more weapons and classes, such as the Tracker and its ability to use a balloon dog to hunt prey. Some fun tricks from the movie make it in, like attacking with a shadow puppet… as fatality cutscenes. 

Humans may find weapons and can take down clowns with a coordinated effort, otherwise they’re stealthing around looking for any of the keys, sparkplugs, or gas cans that various fair points may need. Some exits are riskier than others, none can accommodate everybody, and all can be flossed up by Klowns to make using them harder.


Again, I cannot stress enough how usual this all is. 


If you escape or die early, you’ll need to sit and spectate the whole match, even if it takes fifteen minutes. Given that this game can spawn you right in front of a Klown or an exit surrounded by its necessities at the immediate start of a game, there’s a lot of waiting if you want to claim post-match XP. 

A series of minigames offering items that you can hand to active players attempts to alleviate the  boredom, but they’re horribly tedious themselves. Anyway, sometimes it’s more efficient to just bail, and I wrote most of this review while spectating. 


Is Killer Klowns from Outer Space a bad game? No. It’s a rather pedestrian multiplayer game with a Killer Klown skin applied. It’s visually unimpressive, the audio is utterly flaccid, and overall there’s a general sense of lifelessness, though that’s a pretty common trait of this cottage genre as well.


For all the “originality” this game has, it may as well have been DLC for Dead by Daylight. It’s perfectly serviceable if you absolutely adore this type of thing, and if there hadn’t been games doing it for years already it might even have been notable.

The lack of cosmetic options, even counting unlockable stuff, is so very telling. There’s little worth grinding for, nothing with a sense of personality or distinction despite the source material. Slightly different colored eye makeup is pathetic, really. It speaks volumes about how little thought is going into these games now. 


Grinding just doesn’t seem worth it. The sad trickle of unlockable weapons and classes do so little to alter an experience that soon becomes a repetitive slog with too much waiting around. 


It was funny when the cheater on PC spawned a bunch of random character models though. It was the most variety any match has had.

There are all sorts of games that could be made about Killer Klowns, just like there are all sorts of games that could be made about Puppet Master, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more. We are seemingly so bereft of ideas that all we can do is take very different horror icons and force them into the same tired stencil.


Seriously, who is this for in the long run? The teeming tens of diehard Killer Klowns fans? Genre lovers who already have numerous, more enticing options? Nothing about the source material fits the game on offer, neither mechanically nor tonally, and I doubt the player numbers will disprove me a year from now. 

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is just another intellectually lazy application of a horror movie license. Well done game, you made murderous space clowns boring… that’s one hell of an achievement.


5/10

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