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Kid Klown in Night Mayor World (NES) artwork

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World (NES) review


"Kid Klown in Night Mayor World is a cute, forgettable, rudimentary platformer on NES. Itís one of a legion of mediocre sidescrollers that were released throughout the '80s and '90s that will likely be lost in the annals of gaming history, where they will be overshadowed by a handful of spectacular members from their genre. In other words, play those other titles instead."



Kid Klown in Night Mayor World asset


For many years, I avoided Kid Klown in Night Mayor World. I suspect this had something to do with the unpleasant aura the game exuded that told me I wouldn't enjoy playing it. Thanks to that aura, I never rented or even borrowed the title, and I turned down several opportunities to easily emulate it. As has proven to be the case with nearly any 8- or 16-bit platformer, though, I couldn't resist tearing into it forever. Whenever I avoid such a game, a nagging sensation develops in my mind that demands I give in and finally play it. As time goes by, the sensation builds until it becomes unbearable. The nag associated with Kid Klown reached its pinnacle for me in 2003, so I bit the bullet and popped the game in, only to discover that day that the aura was indeed correct.

Despite my reservations going in, I didnít start playing with a negative opinion. That would have been convenient, as it would have saved me an hour of my life. Instead, I was taken with the game's simple mechanics and cute presentation. I enjoyed tossing lethal balloons at stock enemies like snakes, spiders, and various inanimate objects while racking up strawberry icons called "chips." What truly amused me, though, was learning various alternate uses for Kid's balloons. For instance, I found that I could lay one on the ground and jump on it, launching myself into the air and granting myself access to lofty platforms. What's more, I could hold the B button while airborne, and doing so allowed me to slowly float downward. That behavior allowed me to make short work of the spacious pits I had to cross throughout my travels.

Guilt swept over me as I completed the first stage. I had silently dogged this game for many years, but now it had turned out to be enjoyable. Not until I delved into the second level did I find myself singing a the old familiar tune.

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World assetKid Klown in Night Mayor World asset


As I entered the stage, I had to squint to shield my eyes from the bright pink background and nauseating color palette. The level was constructed of multicolored bricks, most of them a sickening mix of powder blue, reddish-magenta, and peach. As ugly as these environmental visuals were, though, they weren't the top offenders. Later on, one stage built of sweets and pastries exhibited a cringe-worthy pastel color palette complete with a yellowish-green background that seemed to draw its inspiration from early afternoon urination.

I can forgive unattractive visuals, though. All I asked of Kid Klown was that it step up its challenge factor and maintain solid stage designs. It didn't. Every level was an underwhelming romp through basic platformer situations and uncomplicated predicaments. I ran into my share of ho-hum pitfalls and elevated floors, even a few easily surmountable moving platforms. In other words, I dealt with devices that have appeared in every platformer since 1989. If foes approached while I was busy negotiating these tiresome obstacles, they were easily dealt with by mashing the B button. In fact, I sliced through entire stages while mashing B and clearing paths effortlessly, seldom facing any real danger along the way.

The special balloon abilities also added nothing in the way of challenge or variety. Thanks to these techniques, there wasn't a single obstacle I couldn't easily overcome. For instance, the floating ability turned every pitfall into nothing more than a minor inconvenience. As far as the high jump ability was concerned, I used it maybe two or three times throughout the adventure, and never was there any pressure to land the maneuver properly. I would have appreciated more challenges that took those other abilities into account. This game really needed additional precision-based high jumps or death-defying leaps of faith to make the special jump abilities an interesting addition to the platforming formula. I had to wonder upon completing this quest why the developers bothered to include such neat abilities if they weren't going to make full use of them.

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World assetKid Klown in Night Mayor World asset


Even when I squared off against bosses, I felt no need to exercise caution. Most of them, like an enormous owl at the end of stage one, moved slowly enough that they telegraphed their simple attacks and gave me plenty of time to react. I knew, for example, when the owl was going to dive bomb me and I had time to duck long before he reached me. In other battles, bosses put up such lacking resistance that it was embarrassing if they landed a shot. I recall a certain giant angler whose only attack involved belching out miniature replicas of itself one at a time. Each mini-angler swam like it was submerged in honey, providing me with ample time to dispatch it before launching an all-out balloon assault on its parent.

As if Kid Klown wasnít already enough of a cake walk, I also found that racking up extra lives through a bonus mini-game at the end of each stage was a cinch. This mini-game involved spending chips collected during a level to toss balloons at horizontally-moving targets including extra lives (with a treasure chest icon that granted as many as four lives at once), health restoration items, and even hearts that boosted my maximum health. The damning thing with this mini-game was that it was possible to build up such an impressive collection of chips that I could play at my own leisure. Without a time limit, I could wait for a treasure chest or 1-Up to arrive and turn twenty or so chips into thirty extra lives. By the time I ended my quest, I had over fifty lives remaining.

Thatís not to say that I remember much else about finishing the game. After an hour of playing, I managed to avoid the "Game Over" screen and mop the floor with the final boss, Night Mayor. From there, I proceeded to the final cutscene with a yawn and a swift press of the consoleís power button. By that point, my memories of the experience were already fading, ensuring that I would have to replay Kid Klown a few more times if I expected to review it properly. Believe me, I wasn't thrilled at the prospect.

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World assetKid Klown in Night Mayor World asset


Bottom line: Kid Klown in Night Mayor World is a cute, forgettable, rudimentary platformer on NES. Itís one of a legion of mediocre sidescrollers that were released throughout the '80s and '90s that will likely be lost in the annals of gaming history, where they will be overshadowed by a handful of spectacular members from their genre. In other words, play those other titles instead.

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World asset
Son, I am disappoint

Rating: 4/10

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Freelance review by Joseph Shaffer (November 16, 2012)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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