We Want Silly Mini Games in Clowns in the Face 2
Addictive puzzle game Clowns in the Face follows closely behind the success of its predecessor, Tennis in the Face. If puzzle solving is right up your alley, then you’ll find the clown-hurting title to be quite enjoyable thanks to its refined physics engine. Bouncing shots off walls brought a slew of cleverly constructed maps wherein you’ll have to be spatially adapt in order to knock out otherwise unreachable baddies. Having more than fifty levels to master also adds a sense of fulfilment, giving enough challenge and then ending the experience before things get old. So now that we’ve tons of practice honing our virtual tennis skills as Pete Pagassi, what else could we possibly want in a sequel?
First and foremost, we want mini games, lots and lots of mini games. With its polished, heavily outlined art style comparison to characters drawn by games series like Whack It, Clowns in the Face kind of reminds us of Warioware. But, that’s not the real point here. Looking at the game’s stellar wall bouncing physics, it’s easy to imagine how side quests would be enjoyable. It could be in the form of a shooting gallery wherein you blow up Explodz cans or a game of dunk the clown. Or require you to strategically place a limited number of the nasty drinks in order to destroy Explodz warehouses. Pete Pagassi could even have a one on one tennis match against insane baddies, with an explosive twist of course. Basically, mini games would offer variety, adding a short break in between the challenging puzzles while putting the already impressive physics engine to good use.
Having goals to accomplish across challenge levels would also be a pretty nifty feature, especially if they net a few in-game achievements –yes, we consider Clowns in the Face to be that good. Completionists and console players would surely be familiar with the tried and tested formula of trophies and collectibles. Other than offering an incentive to replay puzzles, it also encourages players to master stages to meet the prerequisites for a perfect run. The stackable goals could be as easy as blowing up twenty Explodz Cans or as tricky as clearing all levels using a single tennis ball for each. In order not to alienate casual fans, these should be purely optional and are just there to serve as a fun add-on.
Though Pete Pagassi’s (great mix of two real tennis greats names – Andre and Pete) barebones tennis playing already does a good job of knocking out the evil clown posse, some out-of-this-world upgrades would certainly be a sight to see. No longer will serving be simply a matter of angles and chance. With a spread shot upgrade, you’ll be making short work of groups of the Explodz-frenzied menaces. Being able to use an explosive can at will could also make for a spectacular light show. Though upgrades are a major step forward, these should probably be unlocked after finishing the game once in Classic Mode or be confined to another game type just so veterans have a choice of enjoying the old, well-loved formula.
Clowns in the Face has a lot going for it: a sophisticated physics engine, a wacky concept and polished graphics. However, this doesn’t mean that a carbon copy sequel would cut it. A compelling story line isn’t exactly a strong point in this case so there’s no real need for a rehash. Actually, having avid supporters and plenty of great elements sets the bar pretty high for a puzzle game sequel because people who have mastered the original expect to be challenged again. Otherwise, what’s the point? As long as it captures the essence of what made the first game fun, risking some new features could only be a positive thing.