I haven’t got far enough in Clustertruck to give it a full review, but I’ve played it enough to tell you that it’s really, really good.
A surreal variation on childhood game/pastime ‘the floor is lava’, Clustertruck sees you leaping from truck to truck as they drive through the world, attempting to make your way to the goal. Though you can – at least in the earlier levels – look out for patterns in the way the trucks collide and crash (with excellently implemented physics), later in the game you’ll encounter less predictable, more chaotic pile ups that encompass multiple convoys of trucks, moving separately and in different directions, on your perilous journey to reach the stage’s end.
Different power ups and abilities will give you more of a fighting chance; the currency needed to buy these is doled out fairly slowly but you’ll earn enough to buy the first when you’re more than ready for it – and just at the point when your basic single jump ability isn’t quite enough to survive the stages you’re trying to get through.
It’s a ridiculous, very odd concept but one that is tuned to absolute perfection. It’s horribly addictive and often hilarious; tough and sometimes unforgiving but never frustrating, because even though your attempts will often only last seconds at a time, you’ll be straight back in the action with the press of a button.
You’d think the game’s appeal would wear thin, but so far – a few worlds in and nearly 20 stages conquered – it’s clear that there’s enough variation in every setup and such a fast turnaround with every attempt that the compulsion to continue progressing doesn’t seem to be dropping. There’s a wide variety of ridiculous power ups available – though it’ll take a while to get a decent selection of these, the descriptions make them sound so unmissable that you’ll have further reason for wanting to push on through the sometimes tough stages.
Visually it’s simple but it’s clean, simple and you’ll never struggle to see what you need to do next, even if you won’t always be able to pull off your next superheroic leap successfully. The soundtrack is pretty good too, though at times can feel a little repetitive – especially when you consider that you’ll be repeating levels many, many times in a lot of cases.
Though very simple and pretty basic, Clustertruck has clearly been made with a laser focus on getting its core gameplay mechanic of jumping from truck to truck exactly right. It doesn’t do a lot and won’t win any prizes for depth, but what it does well is provide a very addictive, arcadey experience that feels pretty unique. Great stuff!
If you’ve enjoyed reading this – or any of my other content – it’d be much appreciated if you’re able to share this article via social media. I’d also be forever grateful if you’re able to support me via: Ko-Fi.com/geekmid – which would assist me in writing even more content just like this. Above all else though, thanks for reading – I truly appreciate it!