Reviewed by Ricky
Publisher – Coatsink Software
Developer – Coatsink Software
Category – Multiplayer, Party, Arcade, Sports
Release Date – March 29, 2018
As we all know, the Nintendo Switch has become home to a fantastic library of fun multiplayer party games, and Clusterpuck 99 is no exception. Boasting the ability to support up to 8 players on one Nintendo Switch console, this frantic arcade hockey game has won its way into my family’s hearts.
The basic idea behind Clusterpuck 99 is that you and up to 7 other players(or computer opponents) can team up or fight against each other in an arcade-style hockey game played across 30 geometrical playing fields more suited to mini golf than hockey. You each have a disc like avatar that you bank around one of 30 pre-programmed arenas (each of which have a recommended number of players) with customizable rules. The object is to gain possession of the puck and bank shot your way to victory while avoiding your opponents as they try to take the puck and score against you.
The insane physics lead to a lot of hilarious situations where you will often find yourself trying to figure out where the puck is at the moment, while everyone else scrambles around trying to do the same. If you fall off of the playing field, you will respawn by your in goal, which sometimes puts you in a strategic position to intercept the puck from those that stole it from you. There is a single player challenge mode to hone your skills, and each multiplayer game can be set to a predetermined score or most goals in a set time frame. The madcap speed and constant possession shifts will lead to a lot of shouting and laughter as you trash talk your opponents and try to coordinate elaborate trick shots with passes.
Clusterpuck 99 offers stat tracking, instant replays, and a level editor so that you can battle it out in crazy arenas of your own making. While the gameplay is all very simple, it is highly effective, and will lead to hours of fun. Too often people are out looking for the next big thing with complex and strategic gameplay and hours of tutorials to fully understand all of a game’s mechanics, and they unfortunately overlook many of the simple, but fun games that are all about sitting back, relaxing, and laughing your ass off as your 7 year old daughter kicks everyone’s butt as she is always in the perfect place to rebound the puck. The graphics look pretty good, and the game runs super smooth, which is very important for a game this hectic. It even ran flawlessly in handheld mode, which was especially vital to when my girls would abscond with the Switch to their room and huddle around with friends in tabletop mode.
Clusterpuck 99 isn’t the most in-depth multiplayer game out there, and while its single player challenges are serviceable, it is a game well worth the price, and a must own for anyone that loves getting raucous with friends and family while scratching their competitive itch in a wholesome way.