Clu Clu Land
Box Shot
Clu Clu Land
Platform: NES
Publisher: Nintendo
Designer: Nintendo
Genre: Arcade
Players: 1
Published Date 1985
Reviewed by: Adam King

Another one of the first Nintendo games is Clu Clu Land. The title really doesn't lend to what the game is about. It's a nice idea on a whole, but it doesn't pan out, not even by the standards of those days and hardly by today's standards.

Basically, the game takes place in the underwater kingdom of Clu Clu Land. There's this mean Sea Urchin who steals all the gold bars (which looks remarkably like Rupees from Zelda.) Guess who's out to retrieve them? Yep, you guessed it...

In each of the levels, you play this Lolo-type person, who just floats through each screen. To change your direction, instead of pushing a direction on the controller, you need to grab poles and steer yourself to where you need to go. Anytime you run over a hidden gold bar, it appears. Run over enough of them, and a picture develops (this is predetermined in each level). The sea urchins will try to stop you, but you can stun them and run them into the wall. Just don't fall into the pits that spawns urchins. That's it. Just finds all of the invisible gold bars and you've completed it all. Next level.

The graphics are very plain. There's no scrolling, and the setting only changes slightly with each level. The sounds are alright. There's bouncy music throughout the game, and it's basically the only song you'll hear (other than the stage complete tune). The controls are very hard to use. As I said before, you need to latch on to poles to turn, rather than simply moving your little guy up or down. Chances are, you'll get confused and run into an urchin, which is bad.

In the long run, Clu Clu Land is an average effort by Nintendo. I know a 13-year-old ganme can't be as good as today's games, but still, the controls bog it down, and it gets difficult very quick. Clu Clu Land hardly deserves the "classic" status it seems to have gotten from early NES gamers. It's an interesting concept for an era known for simple gaming (the idea seems like it would fit well on an Atari 2600) but it just ain't that much fun. Worth a check out, but you might not be playing very long.