Clu Clu Land

clu clu land box art nes review
6.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 4/10
Controls: 6/10

Different from some other similar games

Tricky controls, basic gameplay

Game Info

Game Name: Clu Clu Land

Developer(s): Nintendo R&D1

Publisher(s): Nintendo

Platform(s): NES

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Retro

Release Date(s):  November 22, 1984 (Japan)/October 18, 1985 (US)

ESRB Rating: Not Rated

clu clu land screenshots graphics gameplay

Spin your heart out!

The sea urchins called the Unira have taken the treasures of Clu Clu Land and hidden them throughout the kingdom. It is up to a balloonfish named Bubbles to find Clu Clu Land’s treasures and restore the kingdom’s wealth. Unfortunately, the Unira aren’t taking Bubble’s mission sitting down…the Unira are out to stop Bubbles before her mission starts!

Clu Clu Land (クルクルランド) is a Nintendo action adventure game. The game was originally released in Japan in 1984 for the Famicom and became a US launch title for the NES in 1985. It has been ported to multiple systems including the Wii and Switch.

I had a bit of an obsession with the early NES games. I didn’t have a Nintendo and once I did, most of the original titles were out of circulation (or they weren’t the type of titles available to rent for the system). Clu Clu Land is a really odd take on the Pac-Man type game for the NES.

clu clu land screenshots gameplay nes

Pac-Man has nothing on me!

Clu Clu Land which is the English translation for Kuru Kuru that essentially means “around and around”, and the game takes a while to get used to. The character skates through the mazes with ease and only changes directions when you “latch on” to a pole. If you hold the pole, you’ll just spin…and spin…and spin. Once you release, you go the direction your character is facing. You have to get use to releasing the character to avoid simply running into the sea urchins and to progress.

Once you get the controls down, the game picks up speed. With a slight offensive weapon of sound waves, you have to uncover the crystals by passing over them. The crystals generally make mini pictures like hearts, etc. It is a challenge to first discover what you are making and then avoiding the urchins until you can make it.

clu clu land bonus level screenshot gameplay graphics

Pick up the pace!

It is a rather simple game in its graphics. The visuals actually remind me a lot of Mouse Trap or Lock ‘N’ Chase. Legend of Zelda stole the rupee design from the game so you can at least thank Clu Clu Land for the countless hours of collecting rupees to buy shields.

Clu Clu Land at least tries to do something different with the basic set-up of a “collection” game. It is by no means a great game or that memorable, but it can be fun if you get the controls down (which I would argue is pretty true of many retro games). With so many gaming options available, Clu Clu Land is a quick, fast game that requires enough skill that taking the time to master it might not be worth it for most gamers…but you can definitely try.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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