Clu Clu Land

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Clu Clu Land
Clu Clu Land Cover.jpg
NES box art
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Composer(s)Akito Nakatsuka[4]
Platform(s)Arcade, NES, Famicom Disk System, Game Boy Advance, Zaurus
    • JP: November 28, 1984[2]
    • NA: October 18, 1985[1]
    • EU: February 15, 1987
  • Famicom Disk System
    • JP: April 28, 1992
  • Zaurus
  • GBA
    • JP: May 21, 2004
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemNintendo VS. System

Clu Clu Land[a] is a puzzle video game developed and published by Nintendo in 1984 in Japan for the Famicom. It was released in North America in 1985 as a Nintendo Entertainment System launch game and in Europe in 1987. Nintendo has rereleased it many times via emulation.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]


Although "Clu Clu Land" is the official English title for the game, "Clu Clu" is actually an anglicization of "Kuru Kuru"; a Japanese onomatopoeia that refers to something going "around and around". In order for Bubbles to move around the mazes, she must grab onto poles with her hands. When she holds on to a pole without letting go, she spins "around and around". The same phrase is also the basis for the title of the Game Boy Advance game Kuru Kuru Kururin.


NES version, showing Bubbles (red), Unira (blue), and treasures.

In Clu Clu Land, the player is a female balloonfish named Bubbles, known as Gloopy[b] in Japan, who swims around in a maze trying to uncover all the golden Ingots.[13]

The story starts with a type of sea urchin, the Unira, stealing all of the treasures in the underwater kingdom of Clu Clu Land. Bubbles, the heroine, sets out to retrieve the treasure. The object of the game is to uncover all the gold ingots in each stage while avoiding the Unira and Black Holes. Ingots usually form a shape such as a heart or a mushroom. The only way Bubbles can turn around to change directions is by means of Turning Posts located throughout the stages. She can stun the Unira by using a Sound Wave. When they are stunned, she can push them into a wall to get rid of them and receive points. If Bubbles is hurt by the Unira, she will lose a life. A life is also lost if she falls into a Black Hole, or if time runs out. The game ends when Bubbles has lost all her lives.

In later levels, the player must pass over the ingots an odd number of times to uncover them, as they will alternate between their uncovered side and a dull side.


An expanded edition known as Vs. Clu Clu Land[c] was released for the coin-op Nintendo Vs. System. It contains twice as many puzzles, a new enemy named Boss Unira, different level themes, and other adjustments. A port of this version was released as the final game for the Family Computer Disk System (FDS), titled Clu Clu Land: Welcome to New Clu Clu Land. It contains a few minor enhancements such as difficulty selection.

In September 2001, a port was released for the Sharp Zaurus series of PDAs.[3]


Various elements from Clu Clu Land appear throughout the Super Smash Bros. series. Bubbles appears as a trophy in Melee, and the Unira enemy appears as an item in the series beginning with Brawl. A medley of various tracks from the original game is selectable as background music for a number of stages in several games in the series, and Bubbles and Unira are featured as Spirits in Ultimate.

Bubbles appears as an unlockable playable character in DK: King of Swing, which features gameplay inspired by Clu Clu Land.

WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Twisted! include minigames based on Clu Clu Land.

Both the NES and FDS versions are unlockable in the GameCube game Animal Crossing, with the latter retitled Clu Clu Land D outside Japan. Clu Clu Land is included in the NES Remix series. It was released for the Nintendo Switch in the eShop on June 28, 2018, by Hamster Corporation as part of the Arcade Archives series.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Japanese: クルクルランド, Hepburn: Kurukuru Rando
  2. ^ Japanese: グルッピー, Hepburn: Guruppī
  3. ^ Japanese: VSクルクルランド, Hepburn: VS Kurukuru Rando


  1. ^ a b IGN staff (September 7, 2001). "CHIBI JAPAN WEEKLY 3". IGN. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. ^ Famicom 20th Anniversary Original Sound Tracks Vol. 1 (Media notes). Scitron Digital Contents Inc. 2004.
  3. ^ "Clu Clu Land". Nintendo of America. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "VC クルクルランド" (in Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  5. ^ "クルクルランド - ニンテンドー3DS - 任天堂". 任天堂ホームページ (in Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  6. ^ "Clu Clu Land". Nintendo. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  7. ^ "Clu Clu Land". Nintendo of Europe GmbH. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  8. ^ "Clu Clu Land". Nintendo of America. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "クルクルランド". 任天堂ホームページ. Nintendo. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  10. ^ Liam Doolan (May 7, 2019). "Nintendo Adds Three More Games To The Switch Online NES Library Next Week". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Brett Weiss (12 November 2012). Classic Home Video Games, 1985-1988: A Complete Reference Guide. McFarland. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-4766-0141-0.
  12. ^ Lane, Gavin (2020-03-13). "Guide: Every Arcade Archives Game On Nintendo Switch, Plus Our Top Picks". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 2020-03-28. Retrieved 2020-03-28.

External links[edit]