Ayo the Clown is something of a rarity; a pure 2.5D platform game set across bite sized linear stages. It owes a lot of its core gameplay ideas to classic Mario titles — and quite explicitly takes inspiration from various entries in the Yoshi series — with cute character design, levels that promote exploration and verticality, and a host of enemies and obstacles to halter your progress. With rather simple graphics and kid-friendly presentation, Ayo the Clown would be quite easy to dismiss, but the gameplay here is pleasingly tight, making this a great, accessible alternative to a Yoshi platformer.
The story starts with Ayo and his beloved dog sleeping peacefully, before the clown is rudely awakened to find that his best friend has mysteriously disappeared. It’s a simple story, to be sure, but one that suitably drives the narrative to the end. As you progress through the levels, you’ll meet a range of friendly NPCS, some of whom request Ayo help them out, and others dishing out new abilities for you to utilise.
In the initial stages of the adventure, Ayo is without most of his signature moves; the poor clown can’t even jump until the Shoemaker fixes his jumping shoes. As you progress, however, you’ll gain more abilities, including using a balloon to reach higher ground, and a headbutt ability that lets Ayo jump and slam back into the earth, defeating enemies and breaking obstacles in the process, much in the style of Mario's green dino buddy. Some moves can be a bit tricky to pull off at times; the balloon, for example, can be difficult to manoeuvre in tighter spaces.
The level design is particularly strong here; there’s plenty of opportunity to explore, but the game never lets you stray too far as to get lost. It’s an incredibly accessible title, in that sense; almost anybody can pick up and play Ayo the Clown and enjoy their time with it. Those who wish for a bit more of a challenge can crank up the difficulty, adding more enemies and obstacles to the mix, whilst those who want a bit of a gentler experience can lower it, boosting Ayo’s health and removing certain dangers.
Regardless of which difficulty you choose, we can’t help but wish the game was just a touch more challenging at certain points. It’s got all the hallmarks of a good platformer, including some decent boss battles and even a section where you jump in a tank and wreak havoc on any poor blighter who gets in your way. Needless to say, though, it’s a bit of a breeze to complete, and the only other way to boost the difficulty is by going back and collecting all the optional items lying around each level.
Despite the lack of any real challenge, Ayo the Clown is nevertheless a nice alternative to the usual go-to platformers on Switch. It’s got a wonderful, uplifting soundtrack, with several tunes you’ll be humming long after completing the game. Granted, if you’re a Coulrophobic and the mere thought of playing a game featuring a clown causes you to break out in a cold sweat, then you might want to steer clear. For everyone else, though, this is well worth picking up if you’re a fan of breezy, easygoing platformers.
Yoshi fans who don't hate clowns.
Seriously, ditch the clown. I'd buy this and a DLC to make him almost anything other than that clown. Ayo the slug. Ayo the mouldy bread. Ayo the litter tray.
Yeah the clown is a big big nope for me. Which is a shame given the gameplay seems alright but I just do not like it.
I've been intrigued by this one, even more so after watching Cannot Be Tamed's review. This seals the deal, got to try this one out. Clowns are awesome, especially cute little ones like Ayo. This will be like a mini Yoshi game for me.
Nope not playing a game with a clown in it, especially one as creepy as this one , unless I can kill it and burn it with fire.
Not only is it a clown, it looks like a Funkopop figure. Checking all of the boxes for things that aren't appealing in the slightest.
Idk about y'all but clowns are really low in the creepy factor for me. This games looks super cute and I'd buy this... If it were a little more challenging from the looks of it.
A platformer that Yoshi fans will enjoy.
Thinks to myself:
Well that’s a 7/10 then.
Yep, bang on.
Love the Yoshi games and I like clowns, so this looks like a decent game to me. Will probably pick it up somewhere down the line.
On the subject of clowns, where I live in Australia, we used to have a very popular circus that would set up the big top in the back paddock right behind our house every year (in the 1980s / 1990s). They had everything - lions, monkeys, elephants, horses, acrobats, clowns. They used to borrow the electricity from our house, they would pay us for it but also give us free tickets to the show as well. So I grew up being able to basically walk out my back door and straight into the circus.
I remember one year, one of their monkeys got lose and escaped onto our roof, they had to borrow my dad’s ladder and climb up onto the roof to catch it. 😄
They don’t do that circus in this area anymore these days. I think it has been about 13 years (around 2008) since they last came.
@Nintendzoey I hate to be that guy but circus animals have been banned in a lot of countries as it's generally rather cruel. Clowns and acrobats are still allowed though! I don't know about where you are in Australia but there's no country wide ban there, but many city/council bans are in place instead.
I still think my favorite clown game is Circus Charlie from the Arcade Archives.
I'd never heard of this title before today and it looks right up my street. Will definitely nab it when it goes on sale as my backlog is too big at the moment.
@60frames-please Cannot Be Tamed is a criminally underappreciated YouTube channel!
the fact that the game reportedly has really wonky controls makes this a game a solid No.
@Ogbert Yes, I remember there was a protest at one stage, I think our local council decided they did not want them using animals in their acts anymore (my mother was a big supporter of the group). Not really sure about what actually went down, I kept out of it basically. I absolutely agree that animals should not be kept in small cages (and / or mistreated) though.
What was the price?
@Ogbert I thought you said "muddy bread," and I thought, wow, I would play that
This game looks loathsome.
Just bought this! I named my clown "Bernie"
I think this game will lose a lot of potential customers because of the clown. Really poor choice of main character.
Sounds like a great game, but they ruined it by making the main character a clown. No, no, no, not in a million years will I play a game with a clown!
It's been getting some solid reviews in general and seems to have a decent average review score. One to download when discounted I think.
Thanks for the review. Sounds like something I would enjoy.
Why do so many people hate clowns so much? Are they REALLY that bad?
Honestly, I'll take all of the clowning around and such as long as Ayo gives me the "Yoshi" game I have longed for on Switch, which is something Crafted World utterly failed to give me (and I'm not just talking about the soundtrack and its poor handling of side quests, mind you).
That said, I'm not ready to buy this yet. I'm pretty booked on my preorders this year.
Love that subheading, makes me want a horror game based on the IT property, as for this I am not too into the art style.
@chapu2006 Never understood the fear people have of clowns. Everyone has at least something they don’t like (I certainly don’t like some certain things - not telling 😄) but don’t understand why the fear of clowns is a more common phobia.
I did grow up next to where a circus set up on a regular basis, so was comfortable with clowns from a very young age.
They need a demo. I'm interested.
This counts as "creepy-cute" again, right?
@chapu2006 They remind people of politicians at a deep, subconscious level.
Pure pro-clown propaganda!
Just like those billboards that put lawyers next to cute doggos.
I hope this game does well, it's really cute. Also, clowns get a bad rep, and I hope this undoes some of that.
Title conveys fun
Subheader conveys the chills
I think you guys need a second point scale for games that a very precisely aimed at KIDS.
"A bit too easy, even on the harder difficulty"
It's something bad for, let's say, a shooter or an rpg; not for a platformer for 4 year-olds.
I think your point scale for kids should be like:
kirby games, ayo the clown, yoshi games
I definitely wanna play this, it looks great and i personally loved Yoshi's Crafted World.! Glad to hear it turned out a good game! I find they managed to really make the clown cute with its sounds and all but it's still baffling how they did not think of the fact that this would reduce the number of potential buyers 😅
@Nintendzoey I read other Stephen King books as a kid, but my friends told me about It. I got more scared of that than anything I read myself. When I went jogging at night I stayed as far from every storm drain as possible. Really made jogging not very fun! Clowns should be funny and kind!
@CharlieGirl Yeah she's one of the best
I suffer from an extremely debilitating anxiety disorder passed through generations of nervous family members that has inhibited my ability to function in many circumstances others would find mundane. I've been in therapy for the past several months to learn to manage my anxiety and frequent panic attacks so I can go back to living a normal life.
In spite of that, I still don't understand how people are so bothered by clowns.
@Pikki Yeah that would be pretty epic, there's also all sorts of things they could do if a horror game was based on that. I want that or either one based on Jurassic Park hiding from dinosaurs in a game similar to Alien Isolation would be fun, with the goal to escape the park. There are so many untapped ideas for the horror genre.
I can't be the only one creeped out by this effing clown lol
Looks like a fun platformer, I feel like this is a game Yuji Naka could had made if he never went to join Square Enix. Also this won't be the first game starring a clown that I had play.
I'm willing to give this one a shot
You don't like clowns? Well, maybe we don't much like you!
I don’t find this little guy creepy at all. Ayo’s A-Ok by me! I have a snake phobia but even I could find the Snake Pass. Snake Rattle and Roll I enjoyed to. I do believe snakes and clowns are misunderstood creatures when it comes down to it.
I'm sure this game is really good and I feel really bad for it but man that clown frightens me off. Well that and an ever-growing backlog but still
Well, I purchased this game and let me tell you. It is a FRIGGIN BLAST from the start and constantly throwing new things at you almost every level. The controls are spot on. Everything is fluid, hit boxes are just right, platforming is tight enough to be able to do some tricks.
The balloon use as an additional boost really gives it the depth to reach new areas. One thing to note is one level is called the town and after world 2 I went back to it and found I could purchase a bigger balloon. I did and it basically inflates faster, rises faster, for additional height.
Taking a break from all the metroidvanias, many of which all tell a similar dreadful story, this was super suprising and fun.
For me 9/10
I used to be a professional clown, so to all you clown haters out there bite my shinny rubber nose. Beep Beep.
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