No trucks, no glory.
There comes a point and time where an idea for a game is almost so absurd, yet so simple, one has to ask themselves “Why didn’t this happen sooner”. Cluster Truck is at the very center of this thought. How does a game of this nature, simple in thought, yet so intensely addicting, chaotic, and crazy get made? Well, look no further folks. Cluster Truck is here to bring the excitement and the pain.
The core gameplay loop couldn’t be explained any simpler. Jump from truck to truck and make it to the goal line without touching the ground or environment. Sounds simple enough right? Well, it starts off innocently enough to get players established with the mechanics. Yet before players expect, the difficulty starts ramping up. The line of trucks that are jumped on move in a simple enough manner, grouping together to enable the player to jump from one to another. It’s when the outside factors of the environment come into play, when things really take a turn for the worse or better depending on the player’s perspective.
Price I’d Pay: $14.99
How long to beat: 5+ hours
Moving trucks is one thing. How about walls that move in to crush the players? Huge boulders that start crashing down into the truck line? Head on impact of other trucks causing massive pile ups? Even lasers? Yep all these things occur during the campaign, and just when I thought I was getting a better grasp of the system, the devs would throw something else that would make my mouth drop and my breath held as I frantically tried to finish the challenge. Its adrenaline filled moments combined with the trial and error, and instant reloading to try again that push this into an addictive experience. Add on abilities that a player can unlock with their score points, things like slowing down time, double jumps, or dash movies. There are two different sets of abilities to buy and use, but only one from each set can be picked, so choose the two moves carefully, as they can save the day when least expected.
Visually Cluster Truck isn’t going to win any awards, but it doesn’t have to. It has a very subtle visual style, and it works. The various levels take place in different locations like a forest or icy winter land, but they are nothing more than a color scheme change along with a few different environmental elements added. It’s not hugely different from level to level in that regard, but at the same time they definitely feel all their own. Each world also has its own music track, and while the music is appropriate, it’s almost forgettable in comparison to the gameplay.
No truck stops here
Even when the campaign is over, there is an editor mode for creating your own tracks, playing others, and twitch integration. I can’t wait to see what people create personally. Cluster Truck is one of those special games for me. It just fully encompasses an arcade like, high octane experience with one of the silliest premises around. Remembering those days where “step on a crack, break your mothers back” had me hoping from spot to spot as a child on the pavement. Instead, now the ground is a line of trucks, the rest of the world is a crack, and my mother could potentially hear me yelling explicit words across town. Cluster Truck had me on the edge of my seat and also completely defeated at times, yet always having a blast in the process. Sounds like a win, win to me.
Favorite moment: Having an almost perfect run, jumping off trucks, flying through the eye, and hitting it perfectly.
Worst moment: Every time you almost at the end goal and you completely cluster trust yourself and fail. Welp time to try again.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.