I didn’t know what to expect when trying Clumsy Rush for the first time. It has a lovely, squishy look to the characters – and the environments – but I wasn’t prepared for how it would play.
It’s a race to grab a crown and get it to the finish line, only you’re controlling a very awkward, rotund character who doesn’t seem to want to move anywhere without a struggle. The left shoulder button makes your character turn left and – of course – the right shoulder button turns them right. Moving forward is a (deliberate) chore; tapping left and right in quick succession, with a certain rhythm (which can change, depending on the specific traits of your current character) moves you in a sort-of forward motion.
Various obstacles and traps along the way to the finish line will bump you, cause you to drop your crown or dizzily spin you around, making what should be a seemingly straightforward run much harder indeed.
Your rival is attempting to do the same thing, of course – and they’ll look to steal the crown and make it to the finish line before you.
It’s amusing, at first, in single player mode. You’ll chuckle to yourself as you try wrangling your unwieldy character to do something, anything of use – and you’ll cheer as you finally make it across a finish line that wasn’t exactly far away in the first place. Playing alone does get old quickly however, especially when some of the character abilities are far more frustrating than fun – my character only moving backwards was a step too far for me, stopping me from just having a giggle and instead causing me to turn the air blue.
However, play with a second human and it’s an awful lot more fun. Sitting next to someone else as you both wrestle with the controls and compete to reach the end of the stage really does bring the enjoyment out in the concept. It’s definitely the way that Clumsy Rush is intended to be played. It’s a little unfortunate that it’s two player only – though it may well be the case that 3 or 4 players would be far too chaotic to be fun, it’d be nice to have had the option to try it at least.
So as a single player experience, I did find Clumsy Rush to be a little too annoying to be enjoyable (especially as levels become more complex). In two player mode though, it really comes alive – it’s absolutely hilarious and well worth playing. It’s a bit of a leftfield swerve from Red Deer Games after the neon-soaked, synthwave brilliance of their previous title, Cyber Protocol, but does have some charm in its multiplayer mode. Find someone else to play with and you’ll definitely have a laugh with Clumsy Rush.
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