Clustertruck is an action platformer from Landfall Games that involves jumping across a moving convoy of lorries to reach the end of the level. It’s a crazy, intense concept, with death a simple misstep away. Is it fun? Let’s find out what makes it tick.
The premise of Clustertruck is super simple: leap from truck to truck until you reach the goal. Each level begins with you atop a truck, at the back of a convoy. You play from a first-person perspective, so you never see your character – you could be a giant frog for all we know. Regardless, in Clustertruck the laws of physics seem to be flexible as you wield a great jumping ability.
Hopping quickly from one truck to another is one tactic; other times, you might try standing still on your current truck until you can time your next jump more accurately. You can also use a running start on your current trailer top, making for some enormous leaps of faith. A lot will depend on the level, too.
To make things more interesting, each level is set up differently. Sometimes trucks crash into each other – actually, this happens most of the time. Some levels involve trucks driving around corners or under bridges, meaning you have to check yourself before jumping – your inertia will cause you to continue moving straight instead of curving around corners, for example. There are also many hazards to knock your truck off the road, or you off the truck. It gets very intense, very quickly, and, although levels aren’t long, death comes frequently. Restarting is quick and simple, with limitless lives, making death seem less of an obstacle. Levels are thankfully short and sweet, so this is perfect for gaming on the go.
Having said that, you can’t skip levels, so you’ll have to complete each one to get to the next. If you find this format frustrating, Clustertruck won’t be for you. There are plenty of levels to keep you going though. Clustertruck is divided into nine worlds of ten levels each. There are also two additional themed worlds, Halloween and Holidays. These aren’t just orange-and-black or snow-covered levels. No, they offer their own hazards and challenges, making this additional content an added bonus.
Let’s talk about some of the less attractive aspects of the game. Jumping and running are fun and easy moves, however you can also look around your environment – up, down, left and right – which is insanely hard to control, and very jerky. Thankfully, you can adjust the sensitivity, but it took awhile before I realised this was possible. You won’t need this ability in every level, but some levels require a sideways glance in order to switch convoys. These moments are very tricky, and border on frustrating.
The other downside is what’s missing from the game. Where are the online leaderboards, or the statistics? If this game isn’t made for showing off how many leaps, lands and deaths I’ve endured, I don’t know what is.
Overall, Clustertruck is a fun, addictive game with plenty of content. It’s also quite challenging and, although it won’t suit everyone, there’s enough to keep interested players busy. The controls are a little frustrating when rotational movement is involved but, overall, most players should find this an enjoyable game. If you like fast, hectic platformers, give it a try.