Gaming Reviews

Published on March 19th, 2018 | by Joseph Saulnier

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Clustertruck

Clustertruck is one of those games that you have to see to believe.  I know this is a cliché saying, but it really is true in this case.  There is somewhat of an insane concept to the game.  Think of it like this.  You’re in a crazy action movie and you’re in a chase scene.  Think of the movies where the chased and the chasers are running along the top of a train car, jumping from one car to the next as the chase proceeds.  This is already crazy enough as it is, or maybe not if you consider desensitization to stunts like this when you’ve got the Rock jumping between buildings with a prosthetic leg, but what if we jacked it up to the next level.  In Clustertruck, your goal is get to the end of each level, by jumping from one truck to another, in a first person view.  Insane enough for you?

Of course there is a little more to it than that.  You have obstacles to get around, too.  And you get some abilities, but that’s all there basically is.  But do you really need any more?  Less is more, especially in a game like this.  While actual gameplay isn’t too excessive, all you need to know is that the left analog stick is used for movement, A is for jumping, ZR is sprinting, and L + ZR uses your abilities.  There are 90+ levels, each taking about 30 seconds or less, but don’t expect the game to be a breeze.

Even though each level has a ton of trucks, not one of them is driven by anyone who abides by the rules of the road.  In fact, they’re so terrible that most don’t even bother to swerve if something gets in front of them.  They’d rather plow right through and flip their trailer rather than see their (presumed) kids at home again.  But, it wouldn’t be much of a game if they did drive well, as the impending crashes are used as motivation for you actually leap from one truck to another.  Should you time your jump wrong and end up another statistic on the freeway, it will simply be time to restart and try again.  In games like this, dying is learning.  It may be tempting to just try and finish the level as quickly as possible, but it’s not always the smart move.  Unless you have already brought the double-jump, or air dash, ability, sometimes you just need to stay put.  Stay on the one truck just long enough for the cluster in front of you to come together in the right way that you can get where you need to do without eating asphalt.

If there is one very important piece of advice I can give you, it is this: DO NOT LOOK AROUND WHILE JUMPING.  I know it seems like a neat idea to look behind or below you while in midair, and you can do it, but don’t.  Nearly every single time I looked around me, I died.  Things are constantly changing in front of you, and so if you are not paying attention to adjust/anticipate, you are just going to be caught by surprise and go gravel-surfing. 

Where Clustertruck really shines, though, is in the way the content is presented to the player.  Gameplay is mostly the same regardless of the level, but there are worlds with set themes (i.e. forest and winter).  There are holiday themes worlds such as Halloween, and an insane campaign mode that will have you screaming at the screen for hours, but you will be unable to put the controller down.

A note on abilities: although they are present and useful, provided you’ve earned enough points to unlock them, you don’t actually need any of them.  Every level can be beaten without using a single ability.  However you choose to play, though, Clustertruck is an enjoyable experience from start to finish.

 

4 out of 5 stars

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