Released: April 1993
US Cartridge ID: NES-NM-USA
Genre: Action Platform
Supported Peripherals: Controller
ROM Size: 2 megabit
Mapper: MMC3 (128k PRG, 128k CHR)
Kid Klown in Night Mayor World was Kemco’s final US release for the NES, being published near the end of the system’s production run in 1993. Kid Klown in Night Mayor World not only established the Kid Klown series, but also became the fourth game in Kemco’s Crazy Castle series, following The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle (released as Roger Rabbit on the Famicom, rereleased as Mickey Mouse on the Gameboy) and The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2 for the Gameboy (released as Mickey Mouse II in Japan and Hugo in PAL territories).
Kid Klown was originally a Disney license-based game, released in Japan as Mickey Mouse III: Yume Fuusen, in which Mickey has to wake Minnie from a never-ending nightmare. Due to licensing issues (Capcom held the Disney rights for US NES cartridges at the time), the American version introduces players to Kid Klown, a boy from Kansas who is travelling with his family. While searching for circuses to perform at, the family encounters the evil Night Mayor, a mysterious figure that demands Kid Klown’s assistance in opening a safe. When he is flatly refused, Night Mayor kidnaps Kid’s entire family; watching them disappear, Kid is warned that if doesn’t change his mind, he’ll never see his family again.
As a standard platformer, Kid Klown in Night Mayor World follows a well trodden path on
the NES. To rescue his family, Kid must battle through seven stages, each capped with a boss monster and an opportunity to win bonus lives and energy. Each stage is themed, with areas featuring forests filled with spiders, bees, and lizards; a toy wonderland, complete with killer jack-in-the-boxes, toy soldiers, and puzzle pieces; and more, all honed to be, in consideration of the target audience, as innocent and as inoffensive as possible.
Kid’s weapon of choice brings about the game’s biggest innovation: he has an unlimited supply of circus balloons. Kid Klown can use a balloon as a springboard to reach high places that are otherwise inaccessible; as a makeshift parachute, allowing him to safely float over hazards; and as a projectile weapon, which can be thrown in eight different directions. The inclusion of such a versatile tool prevents the game from feeling like a stale rehash of typical platforming conceits. Making full use of this unique game play mechanic, some areas require thoughtful use of the balloon to progress.
Graphically, Kid Klown in Night Mayor World is competent, though thoroughly unimpressive. Most of the stages sport a fair amount of detail, but the nauseating color schemes tend to undermine the overall look. The imposing and bizarre bosses stand out as the sole visual highlight, with few other characters in the game exhibiting any personality whatsoever. The sound fares better than the graphics, with tunes that, despite their rough quality generally reserved for early NES games, manage to stay up-tempo and filled with pep throughout. The controls are accurate, and hit detection tends to be overly forgiving, making Kid Klown one of the easier and more kid-friendly titles on the system.
Kid Klown in Night Mayor World is by no means a terrible game, but it revels in its mediocrity. Solid platforming mechanics ensure that it doesn’t plumb the depths the way that Circus Caper, another clown themed game, does; however, the combination of a hideously unappealing protagonist with formulaic, by-the-numbers gameplay relegates the title to a position of obscurity in the NES library. Kid Klown is short, easy, and entertaining for a short time, but once it is finished, there is no reason to return.
|Kid Klown in Night Mayor World
|ミッキーマウスⅢ夢ふうせん (Mikkii Mausu Tsurii – Yume Fuusen)
Mickey Mouse III: The Dream Balloon