Game review: Clustertruck leaves big-shot adrenaline junkie games in its wake
Indie game Clustertruck is an incredibly addictive wild ride you can share with a buddy until the wee hours of the morning
Clustertruck – get it? It’s like that other cluster word, but with trucks.
Despite the iffy name, Clustertruck is a game worth playing, and employs a simple but clever free-running concept that’s a lot more fun than it sounds on paper.
One of the things I love about indie games is that no premise is too ridiculous to run with, even the kind that you come up with late on a Saturday night after too many intoxicants and your friends have no idea what you’re talking about.
So here we have a near-superpowered parkour freak, standing on a fast-moving truck in constantly changing landscapes. As other 16-wheelers crash alongside it, you leap from one vehicle to another to reach the goal. It’s so crazy that, for all its crude minimalism, the game just about works.
A large part of that is because everything is so exaggerated. Clustertruck throws you into an amplified experience in which explosions are summer blockbuster-style, jumps are straight out of The Matrix and each level is short enough to ensure you never get bored by the ridiculousness of it all.
It all makes for an incredibly addictive experience, the kind that you can share with a buddy until the wee hours of the morning.
It doesn’t last long, though – or at least, not long enough to sustain days of crazy truck-jumping. There’s a map editor on-board here, and that adds a strong element of replayability, but most of the time, you’ll probably just download maps created by basement dwellers with too much time on their hands. Many aren’t bad, but sifting through them all is a bit of a chore, especially when you just want to leap into the action.
There are other problems, of course: the graphics are low budget and the landscapes are hit and miss, some Mad Max-style desert wastelands, others tepid grey-and-green blocks. The soundtrack also varies between fist-pumping and just forgettable.
But none of that detracts from the experience and Clustertruck makes those bigger releases targeted at adrenaline junkies look bland in comparison.