Clustertruck (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 13.07.2018

Review for Clustertruck on Nintendo Switch

Sometimes there's a game that scratches that itch that no other game can scrape. For some, Tetris might be infinitely satisfying. Others might feels endless catharsis in Hotline Miami's gushy violence. Then there is Clustertruck, which fulfils the need to stylishly hop from the trailers of a speeding convoy of trucks as they race towards oblivion. TinyBuild Games has brought this absurd experiment to the Nintendo Switch, but is there more to this joke of a game?

Clustertruck is a very interesting title. It is seemingly designed almost as some kind of ironic joke, and yet in spite of it all, the planets aligned and a weird miracle has happened. It is in its simplicity why Clustertruck is such a wonderful experience: basic 3D first-person controls and physics-based gameplay where the only goal is to reach the finish line. All of this is leveraged thanks to a deep scoring system and an ability shop to expand the gameplay to give the impression of a higher skill ceiling.

Reaching the goal may seem like a simple premise, but Clustertruck mixes things up thanks to how its physics work. Running naturally gives more inertia and, thus, a further leap. Therefore, when these trucks are moving in one direction and when it comes time to vault from one trailer to one that is travelling perpendicular, there are a lot of things that need to be accounted for; things like controlling the velocity and aiming a landing position, which always feels like it is constantly in need of being changed since it is extremely difficult to alter trajectory when being launched over what seems like 100 feet at 100 miles per hour. It is this kind of outrageous visual and sensation that keeps Clustertruck fun and engaging, even when it is extremely difficult.

Screenshot for Clustertruck on Nintendo Switch

Clustertruck was designed with arcade sensibilities. Pick-up-and-play, simple casual design that is bolstered by an easy to learn, but hard to master philosophy. This can be extremely hard and unpredictable at times, even when entire stages are memorised because of how physics are not always following an exact script. It also does not help that the right analogue stick functions for looking and is overly sensitive, with no limit on how much the player can look up or down; kind of like a vertical globe that spins infinitely, which can make aiming require surgical precision. When trucks begin to clash and collide, there is no guarantee that things will play out exactly the same... even within the very same stage. The physics are very sensitive and sometimes unstable, which can be both a benefit and a hazard. For the most part, players won't ever become masters of Clustertruck; they will more often than naught get a little lucky when performing these death-defying stunts. For many, the fast and loose approach to physics could be the main draw, since it is largely a source of hilarity.

The visuals are as basic as can be, bordering on what can be best described as programmer graphics. Flat coloured and almost textureless low-poly 3D models makes Clustertruck look on par with the original Virtua Racing. Bear in mind, nobody will be playing Clustertruck for its graphics; the stupefying stunts and antics are why anyone would download this onto their Switch. The crudeness of the visuals work for this game and add to the ironic charm of the package. That being said, it would be more interesting to see how this kind of game would be like if the trucks and barren locations were rendered more realistically and had believable fire and explosion effects compounded on the ridiculous moon-like physics.

Screenshot for Clustertruck on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There is not much to Clustertruck, yet for a game with that kind of title, it is far more enjoyable than it would suggest. This is a silly, arcade-style guilty pleasure that manages to delivers a satisfying laugh and not much else. There is not much substance here, but there is enough that does put it above most Youtube-bait schlock, since it does have a thoughtful rising challenge and unlockable abilities that can offset the unpredictability of the physics engine.

Developer

Landfall Games

Publisher

tinybuild

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
imjamesgrech

There are 1 members online at the moment.