Did you ever see the running man? When you were younger (or as I continue to do today) you may have looked out your window on long car rides and seen them there. More often than not they were a shrouded figure with vague facial features always changing with no set height or distance from you. They bound along effortlessly keeping pace just on the peripherals of your vision; clearing buildings, mountains, lakes and all. I have bought this up to people over the years and a fair few (some more timidly than others) have corroborated that this is something they have done to let their mind wander on long rides. It came to mind as I was playing Clustertruck and enjoying it with a bit more gusto than I expected.
Clustertruck scratches this fantastic itch in me that I had always hoped Mirrors Edge would have done when I first saw it in motion. The jumps have a prolonged floating sensation that is immediately interspersed with manic bouts of truck jumping that all mix together to bring about this stirring of nostalgia for long haul trips and just straight up busy glee. It reminds me of how franticly my person would have to work just to maintain momentum on a busy highway or in a city centre. All flipping over cars and wall jumping around the busy streets long before I knew a single thing about Parkour. Through this mindset I think I can better understand the underlying inspiration for endless runners. It isn’t a new genre though it is mostly relegated to touch controls and is relatively simplistic to match. Swipe left; go left. Swipe right; go right. Swipe up; jump. Tetris didn’t have to be complex to be great.
You know what I mean
To me, these controls speak to the simplicity of the ruleset I had created for my running person. On somedays it was only man made features, far off mountains or strictly power line running. The simplistic control system inherent to these games within the otherwise busy layouts can create moments of zen I appreciate. I also really enjoy how Clustertruck is able to bring that all together and finally gave me the running man simulator I never knew I wanted while expanding on the concept with the Twitch interaction. I haven’t been able to personally get involved with the Twitch functionality but from what I have been able to see so far it looks like a hoot. The viewing audience are able to vote on interchangeable rule modulations such as making the trucks thinner, shoot lasers from the rear or giving the player a greater height with each bounce which are all things I would imagine my person would have to contend with on a lengthy drive. If I were a betting man, I would guess that someone at Landfall has seen the running man.
You know what I mean
I have always had a soft spot for endless runners (what up Sonic Dash) and overall it seems to be the more challenging progression of that game style and the first representation of some weird long-haul mind game I play all rolled into one. I think i’m going to get some mileage out of Clustertruck.