Don’t ignore this Xbox Game Pass hidden gem: a 3D platformer like nothing else

If you enjoy a good platformer and are also partial to a bit of Floor is Lava on Netflix (it’s good, honestly), then I’ve got the ideal Game Pass game for you. Imagine the tight 3D movement found in Mario games, but transport yourself into a first-person view, then load the world up with fast-moving trucks that are being driven rather chaotically.

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That is the basic premise of the Xbox Game Pass gem ClusterTruck, developed and published by tinyBuild and Landfall Games. You start standing on the top of a truck (the kind used for long-distance haulage, not a pickup). The trailer roof is your platform, but the truck is moving. It’s off, hurtling haphazardly towards a finish line in the distance.

Now, you can hang around on this roof for a while, but it doesn’t take long for the truck to get into trouble, either through bad driving or the bad driving of another truck that’s ploughed into the side of the truck you’re on. This means you need to leap to another truck. OK, so it might not be the Mario-quality platforming I suggested, but it’s damn good fun and I needed to keep you interested.

There are tens of trucks around you at any given time, and given your impressive jumping abilities you can fly through the air at quite the clip to attempt a landing on another truck roof. This is easier said than done, and with the chaos of trucks crashing and turning into spinning balls of fire, and on-course obstacles to contend with, staying on a roof and not hitting the ground becomes moreishly difficult.

ClusterTruck screenshot

If you can’t get enough of the try, fail, try, fail, repeat endlessly until success found in games like Trials, ClusterTruck should scratch that itch very nicely indeed. There’s a different level of skill needed here, with the unpredictability of the trucks meaning you need to learn to react rather than learn the perfect run.

Successfully completing a stage will earn you points, and you can get even more by jumping around with style. These points can then be used to buy movement and utility abilities, such as a double-jump (super useful), air dash, freeze trucks, and time slowdown.

I have a small stable of go-to games on Game Pass that I can jump in for a few minutes now and again, and ClusterTruck is high on that list – although I often find those few minutes turn into much longer sessions as I attempt a new high score.

ClusterTruck is a relatively tiny download, available on Game Pass for Xbox and PC, and is also on Cloud gaming, so you really have no excuse not to give it a try. If you are looking for other games to get this year, our video game release dates page details all the game coming in 2021 and beyond.