Clustertruck is a stereotypical indie title through and through. A unique and wacky premise that no “normal” studio would have dared to dream, let alone make reality, which is unfortunately plagued by technical problems throughout the entirety of your truck-hopping adventure, putting a definite stop on the amount of fun you can potentially have. That being said, when the game allowed me to experience the title in the manner in which they had originally devised, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Your sole objective is to hop across trucks and make it to an end goal, for whatever reason you can conjure in your vivid imagination. Running away from impending doom? Sure. Escaping from a crazy ex? Let’s go with that. Whatever reason you can conjure, it’s certainly good enough to keep you trucking ahead (sorry). Whether it be a flat road through the desert, a medieval themed bridge or a laser-infested wasteland that looks like it could’ve been ripped straight from a Mad Max/Tron mashup, your objective is always the same.
The fun lies in the challenge but, as previously said, technical problems hamper said fun in the most frustrating ways. Frame rate drops plagued my gameplay sessions, making the precise platforming required to progress in the game all that harder, and coupled with the blurring, shaking, screen-tearing… There were levels that, in order to progress, I had to use various power-ups included in the game, such as slowing down time, just so I could somewhat manage the problems I was experiencing. Now, obviously, such power-ups are designed to aid you in the game, but I highly doubt they were implemented to counter the game itself.
As standard, the only moves at your disposal are sprinting and jumping but, as said, power-ups are present within the game, and can be purchased when you have accumulated a set amount of “style points”, earned by completing levels in record time, jumping on aerial vans, etc. As well as the aforementioned slow motion ability, you’re also able to spawn a truck should you find yourself about to land on the cold, hard ground, or the much beloved, gaming fan favourite, grappling hook. The changes these can make to a level can not be understated but, naturally, some are better suited to some levels as opposed to others. As a rule, however, I found that slow motion can assist in all situations, and that prevented me from removing it from my ability slot all too often.
Once you have played through the myriad of worlds and levels included within the game, which won’t take you all that long at all, there are seemingly very few reasons to return. Sure, you can look to beat your high scores that you posted throughout your initial run through, and you could jump into the level creator, but I found that the draw wasn’t quite there for me. Does that diminish the fun that I had, for the most part, with this incredible title? Certainly not. It’s in the same vein as, say, Journey was. Not for the content, or meaning behind said content, but the way I feel about it; Experiencing the game again wouldn’t necessarily add anything to my enjoyment, but I enjoyed it the first time nonetheless. Let’s hope, however, that I can jump back in months down the line and experience the game without the technical problems that were littered throughout my time with the game.