Ayo the Clown Review

Introduction

Developed by Cloud M1, this is a platformer that was released on steam in July 2021. EastAsiaSoft then ported it to consoles in April 2022.

Review

Ayo has a dog named Bo. Ayo loves his best friend, but one day when Bo goes missing, Ayo starts out on his crazy adventure to find Bo and bring him home! This sets up a silly premise, that is filled with a lot of laughter, and random silliness that Ayo encounters throughout his journey. The story itself is pretty barebones throughout the entire journey, but throughout the levels, Ayo sometimes finds himself in crazy situations. Like when he finds a turtle who’s flipped over, and asking for help, but he tells the turtle to leave him alone, only to be caught himself a little ways down the road. Ayo learns a lot about being respectful to others throughout his journey.

During the silly little cutscenes, the stories are told through still images with a narrator talking over them. The way the voice actor delivers the lines was absolutely perfect. It felt like I was at a story reading, with a man reading a bunch of silly stories. I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud during a lot of the scenes. Again, it helps that the lines were read perfectly.

The game relies heavily on its solid platforming basis. When you start the game, you can’t do anything. Not even jump. The first level is designed so perfectly well in regards to helping you learn how to play the game, without actually jumping. But as you progress the game, you start to learn a whole lot of different abilities. From jumping, to sliding, to even using a little balloon to help you stay in the air for the briefest of moments to clear that gap. The one issue I had is that the abilities are just given to you. There’s a small handful where you actually need to do something to get them, like defeat enemies, or do a minigame, but for the most part, when you talk to the NPCs in the levels, they just hand them to you, no questions asked. So it sort of diminished the joys of getting a new ability.

The level design is where the game absolutely shines. It has so many different locales you find yourself going through. From jungles, to farms with oversized animals, to a full on food world. All of them had their own unique enemies and obstacles, and absolutely awesome music. The music a lot of the time honestly reminded me of old school Donkey Kong Country. Sometimes I’d stand there for a good thirty seconds and just listen to the tunes play before I started my adventures through the levels.

It’s a shame there’s no real secrets on the overworld map though. Unfortunately you just go from node to node to node. Sometimes you veer off to play a cute little fishing minigame, but other than that, the overworld really feels like it doesn’t serve a purpose. It was especially annoying traveling back to the town to do the side quests, as it just took forever. The side quests involved you deciphering which level the characters want you to do a thing in, then you go do said thing, which ranges from killing enemies, or collecting an item, then you get a toy. This toy then goes into a treasure box that you can view from the pause menu. But all you get to do is see them all thrown into this chest. You don’t get to interact with them at all. There’s no silly sounds, or secrets, or using them in the levels for silly results. It was a shame, and felt pointless to even acquire them.

When it comes to controls in a platformer, you want nice and tight controls. You don’t want anything to feel floaty or heavy. The game mostly does them right. With acquiring so many abilities, you eventually run out of spots to put them on a controller. The only real issue I had with them is wishing they would have mapped the ground pound and sliding ability to something different. A few times when I’d jump, my finger would slide over the down button on my d-pad, causing me to instantly ground pound, sometimes into a pit. Then when you have to slide, you have to be moving and press down on the d-pad at the same time. Sometimes I would just end up stopping moving instead of sliding. It would’ve been nice if it was on something like L2, so I could do it with a simple click of a button.

There were also a few bugs that I encountered at the time of launch. Hopefully these are fixed in future updates. But I would fall through the floor with bosses, or a boss would hit me, and the camera would shoot off to the middle of nowhere and I couldn’t see anything anymore, causing me to die. Luckily the checkpoints are mostly plentiful, and silly too!

Rating

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Fantastic Level Design
  • Silly Cutscenes
  • Narrator Is Perfect

Cons:

  • Some Controller Mapping
  • A Few Glitches

Summary

As a man who hates clowns, Ayo was a fun clown to be around. With amazing level design and fantastic music, this is an adventure that no platformer enthusiast should skip. I cannot recommend this enough!

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Cloud M1
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: EastAsiaSoft
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £15.99/€19.99 Europe / $19.99 North America
Trophy Information: 28. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 6 / Silver 11 / Bronze 10

Ayo the Clown Trailer (PS4/PS5, Xbox)

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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