Ayo is a sweet yet frustrated little clown on a mission to find his missing circus dog. In this 2.5D platformer, Ayo the Clown has you travel from one colourful world to the next in order to find his best friend. With clear inspirations from fan favourite franchises like Yoshi and Kirby, Cloud M1's second video game title appears to be their most ambitious project to date and has captured the attention of 2D platforming fans everywhere.

The Good

The world, quite like a Yoshi game, encourages exploration and to uncover as many secrets as possible. There's usually more than one path to take and the rewards appeal to completionists with each level containing three hidden teddy bears and three hidden lollipops.

The variety in the game's level design is an aspect that helps to keep the player engaged. In the span of three levels, you'll go from a standard 2.5D platformer, to controlling a tank, to floating upward whilst clinging onto a balloon. You'll also unlock more manoeuvres as you go which have different effects in different levels and this keeps the gameplay fresh throughout its six hour runtime.

Ayo the Clown's boss fights are marvellous. Not only do they pose great challenges but they're also cleverly inventive, utilising that 2.5D space with the foreground and background in fun and creative ways. For kids wanting to play a cute game with colourful aesthetics, it's a good thing that this game has an easy mode because a word of caution, these boss fights are tough on normal are hard modes.

There is so much charm here that just keeps on coming, quite like a handkerchief in a suit pocket. On the overworld map in the first area, I stopped for a minute to watch a big dinosaur demon monster lying on his belly on a hilltop playing with a toy car. It was so silly that I couldn't look away. The world is charming, the characters are delightful and the game's toy-like aesthetic is a treat on the eyes.

TL;DR

  • Fun exploration
  • Fantastic level variety
  • Cleverly challenging boss fights
  • Wonderful charm
  • Light-hearted toy aesthetic

The Bad

Checkpoints are cool, right? When you lose a life, it's common knowledge that you'll either lose your gems and can recollect them or you'll just hold onto them, right? Well when you die in Ayo the Clown, you'll lose the gems you collect (with an extra life per 1,000 gems) and while you can recollect them, the chests remain open so you cannot recollect the mountain of gems from them. This seems like a bit of an oversight.

The cutscenes are adorable and add a lot of personality but boy is that dialogue quiet. I'm glad there are subtitles because while the delivery is well done, I could only hear every second word unless I had headphones on. Either that or I'm going deaf in my old age... let's not rule that out!

TL;DR

  • Disappearing treasure
  • Quiet cutscene dialogue

Final Score: 8/10

With dimly lit shooters and plenty of retro inspired indie games flooding the market, Ayo the Clown successfully tackles a niche that'll appeal to us Nintendo fans. The variety helps to keep the experience fresh throughout and the level design is well thought out to the point where each level feels new and exciting. If you were left wanting after Yoshi's Crafted World or just want more, then Ayo the Clown can perhaps fill that gap nicely.

Thank you for checking out our Ayo the Clown Switch review, thank you to Cloud M1 (via Plan of Attack PR) for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: