Clowns, can't live with them, horror movies can't get enough of them. If you're one of those people who get the creeps whenever you spot huge, painted lips giving you a mischievous smile, then here's your chance to strike back. Clowns in the Face is Finnish game development studio 10tons' physics-based puzzle game. You play as a ex-tennis super star, Pete Pagassi, aiming to rid the carnival of Explodz fueled insane clown horde. Save the day using flying tennis balls setting off explosions, impressive chain reactions and knocking down every single ragdoll clown.
With streamlined controls, Clowns in the Face is pretty easy to pick up regardless of your gaming proficiency. Simply left-click on the screen and hold while aiming your shot angle. Once you're all set to serve, release the mouse button. Though you may just be aiming for a single clown, the game physics does the rest by bouncing your shot around and causing some collateral damage. You are given three serves to knock down every clown in a level, with Pete Pagassi sweating bullets during your last attempt. It's a pretty amusing sight, but it's hard not to feel sorry for the guy.
The key to efficiently clearing a level is to master the art of judging angles and using the terrain. Even if your shot doesn't connect with an item, it will lose steam once it hits the wall a few times. On the other hand, it's also possible to serve balls in random directions but once the stage setups become more complicated, you may find the trial and error approach to be more trouble than it's worth.
Each stage comes with its own set of obstacles and interactive objects. There are cases when you will have to rely on things scattered about a stage in order to reach blocked off baddies. You will also want to get to know the purpose of each item if you're aiming for a good score.
Popping the Explodz Balloon and bouncing on the Vending Machine adds chunks of points to your score. Meanwhile, hitting Glass will make it shatter but you do lose a ball in the process. The Ball Tube will release pro-quality balls when smashed, knocking unwitting ragdoll clowns senseless. On the other hand, Scrap Metal is a double edged sword. It will block tennis balls though it also gives a world of hurt to insane baddies when it falls on their head.
Though Pete Pagassi and the evil clown horde can't exactly hold a candle against adorable kittens, we really have nothing but good things to say about this game's graphics. Every frame, animation movement and cut scene illustration is polished. The colors are vibrant and the cartoony nature of the art fits in well with the game's silly storyline. Even the creepy clowns look tolerable with their silly, toothy sad face. Now, that's saying a lot.
Game-wise, Clowns in the Face successfully lives up to its predecessor's polish. While it's not drastically different from Tennis in the Face, it does give veterans a plethora of new stages to try and master. Because the storyline is pretty basic, there is no real need to play the original. This title is lengthy as it is with more than 50 clever puzzle levels to keep you entertained. If you do not have coulrophobia (a fear of clowns, insane with Explodz or not) and you're after a fun title sporting polished graphics, an excellent physics engine and plenty of levels, then we highly recommend using your virtual tennis skills for good in Clowns in the Face.