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Clustertruck Review

Imagine someone took the simplicity and design philosophy of SUPERHOT and applied it to a platformer, and you'd get Clustertruck, the latest by Landfall Games. A platformer that finds you playing "the floor is lava" on the back of featureless trucks, where one bad bounce leads to a hilarious demise and making your way through the level is about as much luck as it is skill, Clustertruck is one of those few games like the aforementioned SUPERHOT or Nidhogg where adding anything more to it would be stupid. It only has to be what it is. And it's fun like that. 

Clustertruck is simple. Run across the trucks, don't hit anything else, don't touch the ground. You can also get a number of "style points" for achieving a certain amount of hangtime in the air, leaping across trucks as they fly over the terrain, dodging obstacles, and other things like that. Annoyingly, they do not give you points for back or frontflipping, which is awesome to pull off and should definitely be added in a later update. Especially since the mouselook goes three hundred sixty degrees. You will frequently see the "YOU LOST" screen, whether it's missing a jump, getting hit by a rock, or even winding up beneath the wheels of those faithful trucks.

Get used to seeing this. 

Get used to seeing this. 

Adding to the fun, the trucks seem to collide and drive forward randomly,  forming the titular clusters and unforming with equal speed as they jostle about, sometimes crashing into each other to cause explosions. What this leads to is not the normal, firm layouts of platform games, but in fact a complete anarchic scramble across dissonantly pleasant terrain.

It all adds up to something incredibly simple, but also both incredibly frustrating and rewarding. When you figure out how not to ram nose-first into the ground on a level, there's a wave of relief not unlike defeating a difficult portion of Dark Souls or Superhot. When you finally finish a level, it's so worth it that often times, I don't even replay the level for better times. Once you begin unlocking abilities, it gets slightly easier, but never enough to ever relax you to a state of complacency. You will keep falling off of trucks until you finally get fed up and rage-quit, and then go back to falling off trucks all the more. It's a classic game, and one simple enough that it's well worth playing. 

5/5

Full Disclosure: The reviewer received a copy of this product for review.

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