Ayo The Clown – Review – Platform fun for kids and adults
It would be easy to see Ayo the Clown in the new release section of the PSN Store and dismiss it as a kid’s game or more likely a mobile title ported to console and converted into a one of those east 10 minute Platinum Trophy games. Upon closer inspection though, it’s a game that PlayStation and Xbox don’t have enough of. A colourful, fun 2.5D mascot style platformer very much in the same vein as Mario or even more closely, Earthworm Jim, Superfrog, Rayman or Little Big Planet.
The story begins with our main protagonist Ayo fast asleep beside his beloved dog. Suddenly, he awakens to find that his companion has mysteriously disappeared. This is all the world-building we get before being thrust into the game and sent on our merry way.
When we first begin our journey Ayo is desperately short on moves, even down to not having the ability to jump. After navigating the early stages of the world via moving platforms and manipulating other items you will reach the shoemaker. He fixes Ayo’s jumping shoes, unlocking the ability to jump and reach higher areas. Like the Yoshi games, Ayo the Clown contains a lot of verticality, which encourages exploration without ever becoming overwhelming.
Further into the story, you will unlock more moves such as the ability to use balloons at the peak of a jump to reach higher areas, a belly slide and more. There is also a headbutt, which allows you to jump into the air and launch your face to the ground killing enemies and breaking objects. I found each additional move added an interesting twist on the fairly standard moveset you find in games of a similar ilk. The game as a whole is very cute, and this is never more evident than when the mechanical arm pies you in the face every time you reach a checkpoint.
Another aspect of the game that really impressed me was the art style. At first glance, it may look pretty simple, but the detailed backgrounds, vibrant colour palette and high-resolution textures really combine to make a visually pleasing experience. Ideally, I would have liked to see more varied locations, but this is a minor gripe overall. It was hard not to get Little Big Planet vibes at times. The game’s performance is also on point, with a solid 60fps on PlayStation 5.
This is the type of platformer that we don’t see enough of on PlayStation or Xbox.
The level design is particularly well crafted. Developer Cloud M1 has struck an excellent balance here in making the game both accessible for younger gamers and still fun for adults. They do a great job of mixing things with the likes of chase sequences and some fun boss fights. There are also difficulty options should you wish to customise the experience further. Easy mode will bolster Ayo’s health while removing some of the obstacles in each level, while hard mode does the exact opposite and ups the ante. At no point does the game become frustratingly difficult so it’s perfect for young ones too, which I appreciated for my two little monsters.
Thanks to no difficulty related trophies the platinum is also fairly easy to obtain. First, simply complete the game. This will take you to the town where you want to go all the way to the right and then left talking to each of the NPCs. This will accept the various side missions on offer. From here you can use chapter select to go back in and mop up the misc trophies – many of which weren’t accessible before. At this stage, a guide is recommended to nap the last few trophies.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend Ayo the Clown. I went in expecting little more than a functioning platformer, with a simple Platinum Trophy, but it really isn’t. Cloud M1 has put together a beautiful world, a cute cast of characters, all topped off with some fun gameplay. This is the type of platformer that we don’t see enough of on PlayStation or Xbox.