It's no secret that I'm a massive fan of cute games. I just enjoy playing things that are adorable or brightly colored in appearance — I enjoy the worlds that can be created, visually, around the gameplay mechanics. #AyoTheClown delivers on a cute, well polished looking environment to sink your teeth into!
Let us address the clown
I can hear my childhood best friend saying, “Nothing with clowns could be cute.”
Well, old friend of mine, this clown is cute. Just look at his precious face; he almost looks like a baby clown! He has a small, non-threatening stature, a cute hat and a face with rounded edges. There's nothing at all resembling those murderous clowns that come to mind.
Now that we know the clown is not remotely threatening, let’s explore why he's on this crazy adventure. His puppy, named Bo, was kidnapped! Scoundrels!
That's definitely a reason to go on an epic adventure with a clown — you surely can’t let that poor dog stay in the hands of a kidnapper! That's basically all you need to know in order to convince you of the adorable-ness of this character, and of his good nature.
Okay, but what about the environment?
The world around Ayo is just as polished and colorful as the protagonist himself.
You start off in a factory-esque building, full of machines, lava, spiked things and robotic monsters. Despite the fact that the world is replete with things that could hurt you, all of the graphics and colors are amazing. There is a real depth to Ayo the Clown — layers of different graphics all flowing and working together to immerse you into the game.
I feel that games that have different layers of graphics are always impressive and immersive. Let me explain what I mean by different layers. There's the path that you can interact with — it's a middle layer in this game. Everything on this layer is interactive, you can walk along it and explore it.
Behind you in the distance, however, there are semi-blurred graphics and a background. This background layer adds more visual depth to the game, affording you a more detailed environment with the added bonus of additional and with interesting things going on. Ayo the Clown also has a front layer, a foreground that is sometimes more in focus and blocking off your sight of the layer you can walk on.
Some objects will even start on the background layer, swing through your layer, and end up in the front layer, blocking your view or going off the screen.
Having these different aspects in the game really helps to create a beautiful environment to explore, when executed correctly, and this is a superb example of the right way to do layering — just the partial blurs and the movement in machines on the first level are fantastically well made.
Once you begin exploring the areas, you will find there are even other characters to meet on your journey.
Meeting some friends
The first friend is a vegetable who knows this place is dangerous. They appear here and there throughout first level, giving you tips and instructions on how to go about staying alive. These small dialogs are loaded with personality. The veggie tells you not to get hurt and even compliments your appearance. What a wonderful friend!
You will meet more than just friends meant to help you along the way, though — sometimes there are also characters seeking some help. The first character in the game to hinder your ability to progress is a turtle, who needs some help finding their brother. This may seem like a hindrance, as you are on a quest to find your dog, but you're a kind and friendly clown so you should probably help them out too.
Cute but dangerous
Even though this world is super cute and colorful, the game is still challenging.
There are many, many different enemies and ways to die — so with only three lives, you will need to be careful and considered on your journey through the environment you find yourself in. Don’t let the bright colors, moving machines, and colorful friends distract you from staying alive.
Make sure you pay attention to your surroundings, look out for hidden areas, and collect as many gems and puzzle pieces as you can on your hunt for your loved dog!