Clu Clu Land (NES)

Clu Clu Land Box Art.

Clu Clu Land

System: NES

Release Date: October 1985

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Puzzle

Game number three is a doozy! Clu Clu Land is an arcade puzzle game. The goal is to score the most points in your allotted lives. You do this by unearthing gold bars and repeatedly killing a couple sea urchins who hid them in the quickest amount of time.

Bubbles working to unearth gold bars in the shape of a person.

The game stars a little creature called Bubbles. There are turning posts arranged in a grid around each level. You don’t walk around the board, but instead are in a constant state of forward motion. In order to turn, you have to hold out one of Bubbles’ arms. She catches a turning post and begins to spin around it. When you let go, she starts going forward in a new direction.

Level 1 is completed! Notice the bouncy trap beneath the head. Underneath that is the deadly black hole.

The gold bars are hidden in a pattern throughout the stage and getting the timing and reflexes needed to uncover them all in the time limit is the game. There are hidden bouncy traps that appear at the most inopportune times, often pushing you back into one of the sea urchins or a black hole trap.

Multiple black holes and a couple bananas for bonus points.

Bubbles isn’t completely helpless, though. She can shoot out some sort of sonic wave that turns the blue urchins yellow and stuns them. Then if you can shove them into one of the walls on the level, they will be defeated for a few seconds. This allows for a little less difficulty for those moments.

This level was difficult with all the hidden bounce traps and no side walls.

After finding all of the gold bars, you are awarded your points. 500 for each urchin, 1 for each second left on the clock, and 100 points for each gold bar hidden on the level. There are also little fruits and other items that appear for points, a time stop, and a free life. Amass the highest score to become the master of Clu Clu Land.

Graphics: 2.0

I’ve got no problem with these graphics. I can tell what everything is, I don’t get thrown off by anything. The graphics are perfectly cromulent.

Sound: 3.0

I like the sound. The music is good enough for me to listen to for a playthrough. The sounds do their job, as well. I know when I’m unearthing a gold bar and when I’m shooting a stupid urchin. The music speeds up when you’re down to about 20 seconds left.

Gameplay: 3.0

Easy to start. The second level speeds you up, though, and you’d better be ready for it. It takes good reflexes to put Bubbles’ arm out to go the way you actually want.

Difficulty: 3.0

The difficulty is just fine for an arcade style game. It has to have room to grow for someone to really master it and this game does that.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I like Clu Clu Land. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s an arcade game like Pac-Man. Learn to master the gameplay and go for the high score!

Overall Grade: 2.7

Clu Clu Land gets a B-. I definitely enjoy Clu Clu Land as a game more than 10-Yard Fight and Baseball. It’s a completely different style of game though, so keep that in mind. Comparing sports games to puzzle arcade games isn’t as cut and dry as it may seem, as they are different beasts. Clu Clu Land is definitely a good puzzle arcade game, while 10-Yard Fight and Baseball are on the low end of football and baseball games, respectively.

Clu Clu Land Video Review on YouTube