Ok – my first reaction upon seeing this title get spit out from my random list picker was “This can’ t be a real game”. But it is.
KKiNMW is a platformer game, where you are on a mission to rescue your clown family who were kidnapped by the evil Night Mayor. The storyline cutscenes are awesomely corny, I kept taking screen caps and laughing through most of it. So while this might have meant to be serious entertainment, it was at least entertaining.
Along with running and jumping, Kid Klown has balloons that he puts to a variety of uses. You can throw three ballons at a time, then have to rest (presumably to blow up new ones). The rest is short, so you can keep up a good barrage of balloons at regular intervals.
Most creatures and enemies you run across can be dealt with by one or two balloons. Some of them have projectiles that they shoot at you in return – but most rely on running in to your character to do damage.
The environment is pretty straightforward, there are things you can land on. Bridges to run across. Several levels, some of which you have to climb up to access. Enemies re-spawn if you move off their screen, so you’re better off to keep moving forward as much as possible with very little backtracking.
Some environmental things will fall on you as you get close, these also re-spawn if you get of the screen.
The game is divided in to seven distinct stages. Each one is accessed by completing the previous one and beating the boss at the end. I found the levels linear enough, and the bosses to be challenging but not very difficult. Once you learn the mechanics (which aren’t complex) it’s just a matter of surviving and doing enough balloon damage to win.
At the end of each level is a bonus stage where you use strawberries that you’ve collected throughout the prior level to try and hit character bonuses. I discovered that the fruits increase your overall life total (max of 5 hearts). And the portraits are spare lives. I’m not sure what everything did, mostly I just tried to get my life back up to full before the next level.
The first stage is mostly an introduction, you beat the hedgehog (poor hedgie!) at the end and get access to the rest of the levels after passing through the gateway.
Then Kid Klown has to work his way through five more levels and bosses before finally reaching the Night Mayor’s castle. The castle is as long as the other levels put together, you have to take various doors and portals to advance. All the previous bosses are available to fight again – and if you beat them your life is restored to max. Which is helpful if you’re confident you can beat them without dying and get out alive.
The Night Mayor himself comes in three distinct phases. After beating him he says “You’re awesome” at one point. I say that about myself all the time so it was nice to have him acknowledge it.
The first phase I found the hardest, having to dodge and stills shoot him in the head with balloons. After that the phases were very simple and easy to figure out and beat the Night Mayor with little effort.
The end of the game was just as corny as the rest, totally awesome and amusing at the same time. I took snaps of it to share – normally I save the credit sequence for you to find on your own but this one is worth a chuckle among friends.
Don’t stop reading yet! There is one thing that you may not remember about NES games, but you always watch the credit sequence to the end. Most of them just have a general “The End” screen.
But once in a while you’ll find something extra special. A secret the game developers put in for those people who persevered to the very end. KKiNMW is one of these games. I wont’ make you finish it yourself to get the secret – remember, you read it here first!
FYI – the hard mode is really hard. I went back to play a bit, and it would take some serious skill to make it through the game a second time. I don’t have the patience, one time through the game was plenty for me – but hey, that leaves a challenge for you doesn’t it? Maybe there is a second super secret screen at the end of the hard mode, only one way to find out!