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Have You Played... Clustertruck?

A first-person truck platformer

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Clustertruck [official site] is a first-person platformer about leaping across the tops of a pack of moving trucks, like the most ridiculously overblown movie action sequence. But it didn’t live up to its premise, for me.

The concept is great. Each track starts with dozens of trucks, each driving without regard for their own safety, jostling and crashing below you while attempting to traverse courses littered with hills, falling boulders and dangerous jumps. Not all of the trucks make it to the finish line, as they crash, get stuck, and the number of safe platforms for you to land on dwindles.

The problem for me is that the physics-y nature of the driving means the position of trucks is unpredictable, and when you as the player are in the air, there’s not enough control over your trajectory to compensate for the truck you were aiming for suddenly veering away. Plus, your jump itself is unpredictable, as the jostle of a truck beneath you at the moment of your jump might send you into the air with unexpected height or speed.

As you advance through different levels and worlds, you unlock special abilities, many of which help you compensate for this unpredictability. But I wasn’t having fun with the game’s core and at that point I’d grown frustrated.

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Graham Smith

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