A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Clustertruck is a downloadable first-person platform game. There's no blood or gore in the game, and falling just means restarting the level. There are plenty of explosions, though, and enough bad driving examples to give a driver's ed teacher cold sweats.
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What's it about?
CLUSTERTRUCK is a twisted and warped action-platform game all about getting from Point A to Point B without hitting the ground. But instead of hopping around the usual generic platforms, Clustertruck has you jumping through surreal traffic jams on top of convoys of 18-wheeled semi trucks and trailers. What starts off as a scene reminiscent of just about any action movie from the past 30 years quickly turns into a head trip as trucks careen off cliffs like lemmings, get knocked skyward by falling meteors, and flip around like they're trying out for the gymnastics team of the automotive Olympics. Luckily, over time, you'll get grappling hooks, double jumps, and a few other tricks to help navigate the madness. Make a leap of faith, avoid the carnage, get through traffic, and, most importantly, don't get "Clustertrucked."
Is it any good?
This fast-paced action game is an incredible amount of fun, even though it's based on an absurd Hollywood-like stunt premise. We've all seen that action-movie cliché where the hero leaps on top of a moving truck that's speeding through traffic, occasionally jumping from car to car to stop the bad guy. Now imagine that scene happening in an M.C. Escher painting, and you'll be pretty close to describing Clustertruck. The game takes a basic idea -- jumping off the top of moving semi-truck trailers -- and quickly turns into a physics-based nightmare, as trucks start flying off the road in all sorts of strange and inventive ways. That can't be emphasized enough. Just when you think you've seen it all, and of course found a way around it, the next level throws a new wrench (or meteor) into the mix and you're trying to sort out a whole new way to keep from hitting the ground. If nothing else, Clustertruck keeps things from getting stale.
As much fun as you'll have with the game, Clustertruck still manages to hit a few potholes. First off, the levels are extremely short, capping out at only a couple of minutes for the more difficult levels. Depending on how quickly you pick up on the basics, you could complete the whole thing in only a few hours. Also, since the game relies so much on actual physics, and since objects on each level don't always react in exactly the same way, it's entirely possible that a fluke hit might shift an object just enough so you lose through no fault of your own. These two things sort of cancel each other out, though, since replaying a level can be a new experience every time. Plus, losing a level is only a few seconds of time, so you can get right back into the action. Either way, Clustertruck is still a fun arcade road trip for anyone looking to try a wacky spin on a classic genre. Just remember to only try it in the game and not to try it at home.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the dangers of imitating others. Why is it important to recognize the risk involved in imitating what you see in games, on TV, and in films?
Talk about driver education and road safety. Why should people be trained before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, and what are some of the dangers on the road?
- Platforms: Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: tinyBuild
- Release date: September 26, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E for No Descriptions
- Last updated: October 27, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.