Clowns. Fun, friendly circus acts, or scary people daubed in paint you’d like to smack with a large mallet? If your response is the latter, then Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom might be the game for you!
The game puts you in control of Jaxx, a jester extraordinaire who is trying to rescue his partner Comedia, whilst also searching for the legendary and powerful Druid Orbs. Armed with a Harley Quinn-esque giant mallet, Jaxx must battle his way through an invading army of clowns, who are terrorising ‘The Realm’.
Masquerade is an action/rpg, with bright, colourful, cartoon-like 3D graphics. You’re guided through the action by a narrator, who teaches you all the basic fighting moves, and a number of (possibly slightly too lengthy) cut-scenes. The art style is well-chosen, and fits perfectly with the quippy comedy from Jaxx.
The dialogue is well written and funny, with impressive voice work right from the get-go. One of the major appeals of the game is it’s light-hearted, entertaining script, which never takes itself very seriously, and is perfectly happy to break the 4th wall, and make sarcastic remarks to the player.
I was playing on PC, and it’s not really a game that lends itself to mouse and keyboard. Switching to a game controller made life a lot easier, but the camera control could still do with some work. However, I was soon merrily smashing my way through clown hordes, each of which had a satisfying Batman ’66 style BOOM! or WHACK! graphic when I hit them with Jaxx’s oversized hammer. Entertainingly, you can collect the red noses of fallen clowns to boost Jaxx’s abilities, and give him added thwacking power.
Whilst the mechanics of Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom may not be the most original (collecting items to level up, finding hidden chests etc…), and does have some control issues, it’s a fun and funny entertaining game to play through. The sort of game you can pick up and play for 30 mins at a time when you want a break from whatever mundane task you’re trying to avoid.
Out now on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 & PS4 ou can find out more about Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom at www.masqueradegame.com