My experience of playing Clustertruck was an emotional one, and one which involved some of the following phrases: “What the f*ck was that?!”, “I made that f*cking jump you c**t!” and “How is anyone supposed to make that b*st*rd jump that’s ridiculous!” However, I should point out that this very likely says more about me as an individual than it does about this fun little game, because after spending some time with this game I found myself using phrases more along the lines of “I’m almost there!” and “Ah I get it I can do this now!” That’s not to say the anger subsided, and I dread to think the amount of calls made to the police by my neighbours regarding what must have sounded like the start of some Domestic Abuse. But despite the moments of frustration, I found myself wanting to continue with each failed attempt.
Clustertruck is, on the surface, a very simple idea for a game. Its a first person experience in which you have to get to the finish line by jumping from truck to truck without hitting the floor. It’s incredibly fast paced and doesn’t hold your hand through the experience. As I learned very quickly this is a game of trial and error, but the premise of the game was quirky enough and the actual action of jumping from truck to truck was fun enough that despite this, I wanted to continue playing, as I could see that with each attempt I was improving and becoming more accustomed to it’s very fluid and simple controls, which help keeps it light, fun and incredibly uncomplicated.
You may find the premise of this game somewhat repetitive if this is “all there is to it” for you, and would soon become a trucking boring experience (it was only a matter of time before that dad joke was used). However the game mostly prevents this due to two main features. Firstly, with each level not only do they ramp up the difficulty, they also ramp up the insanity. It’s genuinely fun playing and just witnessing the sheer number of trucks crashing and exploding around you, whilst maintaining that level of challenge. Secondly, the use of different maps with different styles of world not only keeps things different on a visual level, but also changes the way that the game is played. For example, there’s a futuristic map that employs launch pads, there’s a medieval map with several contraptions you need to avoid. All very simple little ideas that help to keep Clustertruck’s super simple concept from going stagnant.
At the end of the day, this is a game in which you jump around trucks. It’s not going to revolutionise the gaming industry or change the way we discuss video games. But it isn’t trying to be, it’s a game that’s fun in short bursts so that you can always come back to it to move onto the next level or beat an old time. It’s a small game, but one that I enjoyed with the time I spent with it, even when it did leave me shouting abuse at an inanimate object. In fact, you could almost say it was a cathartic and life affirming experience. Perhaps this game’s purpose is to instill its players with self belief, to overcome any personal anguish or self doubt? Perhaps this game taps into our deepest subconscious anxieties and let’s us know we can achieve greatness, we can succeed and find self worth while completing the task at hand.
On second thoughts no, it’s a game where you jump from truck to truck. But it is fun.
Check out the Steam page here >>> Clustertruck Steam page