Three Klowns in Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Image Source: IllFonic

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game Review-in-Progress – Time Will Tell

Worth the hype?

Asymmetrical horror games are one of gaming’s biggest modern trends. If you can think of a renowned horror IP, there’s a good chance it’s got a video game adaption. In the past two years alone we’ve seen games based on Evil Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Ghostbusters, all within the asymmetrical multiplayer subgenre.

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Next on that conveyor belt is Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game. Developed by IllFonic, it takes the cult 80s horror movie and spins it into its own multiplayer experience. Does it have what it takes to distinguish itself in a reasonably bloated subgenre, or will it go the way of Friday the 13th and Evil Dead by taking an early closure?

A Klown at the amusement park in Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game.
Image Source: IllFonic

The main thing a game needs to do to flourish in this cramped marketplace is to stand out from its competition. Fortunately, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game has a lot going for it in that respect, thanks to its distinct and colorful visual style. The game translates the film’s aesthetic very well, with neon-inflected maps, detailed character models, and the squelchy, comedic sound effects you’d expect from clowns attempting to usher in the apocalypse.

It’s the best way for Killer Klowns to stand out, because it’s instantly more visually arresting than a lot of its contemporaries. While maps themselves tend to be fairly dark due to the dusky lighting, the map’s crucial machines and teleporters are nice and bright to spot. It makes playing as a Klown or survivor much more straightforward, as you know broadly where to go and which areas to avoid.

That said, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game is a rare case where it’s more fun playing as a survivor than a killer. In something like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, it’s much more exciting to prowl around as a member of the Slaughter family, picking off survivors and dispatching them brutally. Here, though, the Klowns play very slowly, and there’s much more scope for exciting gameplay when you’re a human.

Three survivors about to attack a klown in Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game.
Image Source: IllFonic

Yes, as a human it just feels like you’ve got a lot more to do. Unlike games like Dead By Daylight where your survival means are limited to turning on generators and escaping via gates, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game has a much vaster scope for winning matches.

You can find fuel cans to power up a boat, activate teleporters, and more during the ten-minute-long matches. Humans move quickly, can fight back against Klowns or the AI minions that can alert killers to their location and can loot buildings or storage containers to find health items, collectibles, or useful weapons.

That’s not to say that there’s no value in playing as a Klown, though. Your builds are wildly customizable, with a huge range of abilities that can alter your movement speed, provide you with short-term buffs, or grant perks to enhance your performance. There’s much more scope for crafting a playstyle this way, which could only get even better if playing with friends alongside whom you can configure and compliment one another’s builds.

Klowns zapping a survivor in Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game.
Image Source: IllFonic

My main concern with Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game is one that permeates the entire asymmetrical multiplayer subgenre: its longevity. At launch, there are five maps with just one game mode, and I don’t know how long that’ll keep players entertained. It’s a sentiment that I feel for a lot of games within this genre, but unless you’re a diehard Killer Klowns fan or you’ve got a group of friends determined to continue playing the game, it’s hard to see what will keep you coming back.

Of course, this could all change in the weeks and months after the game’s initial launch. Illfonic has yet to share a roadmap for future content, but it needs a fair amount of support to distinguish itself enough to carve a dedicated player base. Whether that’s more maps, new game modes, or extra weapons and abilities to harness, it doesn’t feel like there’s enough here at launch to keep players engrossed for more than a few matches.

It all puts Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game in a fairly precarious position. Yes, the core gameplay loop is undeniably fun and it’s a visually arresting entry within this burgeoning subgenre. That said, it’s hard to see just how it’ll make its mark to win over those not beholden to the franchise already. Only time will tell, but for all of its unique quirks, I’m not sure how long these Killer Klowns will last.

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Luke Hinton
Luke Hinton is a video games journalist currently working as Senior Guides Writer and Associate Editor at Twinfinite. He has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Journalism, Media, and Culture, and previously specialised in entertainment writing.