First issue of Clown Commandos is a mixed bag

Oct 4, 2010
Tech

If nothing else, Clown Commandos (free) has an interesting idea for a comic series: A group of clowns becomes an elite special forces unit tasked with saving the world. Putting aside my discomfort with clowns for the purpose of this review, that’s a pretty funny concept. The comic itself leans on humor effectively enough, packing […]

If nothing else, Clown Commandos (free) has an interesting idea for a comic series: A group of clowns becomes an elite special forces unit tasked with saving the world.

Putting aside my discomfort with clowns for the purpose of this review, that’s a pretty funny concept. The comic itself leans on humor effectively enough, packing in the usual action tropes in between acts from a clown who only communicates in beeps.

As for the app itself, Clown Commandos #1 is a mixed bag. The art is decent enough, and flipping through the pages provides a few graphical flourishes or two. In particular, the idea to withhold the text on a scene until a second tap allows the reader to appreciate the art a bit more.

However, compared to other comic reader apps, there isn’t a lot of customization to be had. Apps like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World gave users a whole options menu of things to tinker with, like the speed of transitions, letterboxing, and more. Clown Commandos, on the other hand, offers to let you flip to a particular page numbers. There’s no cool looking cover-slide style feature to the pages, either. Just page numbers and a thumbnail of the illustration on that particular page.

What Clown Commandos #1 does have going for it is its audio presentation; select pages have the occasional sound effect or audio flourish. The audio doesn’t automatically play, thankfully, but there are several pages that include sound clips of some sort. It’s something I hadn’t seen before in a comic app, and it’s not entirely unwelcome. If nothing else, it shows that developers Big Red Boot Entertainment are willing to think outside the box in order to get their app noticed.

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Still, audio or not, Clown Commandos is probably best experienced by someone who actually enjoys clowns. For those that do, you’ll find a very robust free comic here. It more than delivers content-wise, even if it disappoints when it comes to options.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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