Remember back in the ‘90s, when video games would portray ultra-futuristic versions of professional sports – with robots and mutants and insane power-ups – and you were just like, “Yeah, in 100 years, we’ll play baseball with jet packs!”? Now, imagine someone did the same thing for air hockey, the official sport of pizzeria arcades. That’s ClusterPuck 99, and it’s awesome.
ClusterPuck 99 takes a very simple concept and throws in twists and obstacles. It’s a multiplayer hockey game at heart, and you’ve got to maneuver a puck into your opponent’s goals. Simple enough, right?
Opponents can charge into you and knock you about, because you’re all bumper discs. Still not a problem, right? Also, the 20+ levels range from straightforward to utterly bonkers, with spikes, bumpers, pits, and mazelike designs.
The chaos of ClusterPuck 99 is exponentially increased with every player added to the fray. While the controls are easy to learn, ClusterPuck 99 is a game that is hard to master, much more so when your friends are trying to destroy you every second of the way.
It’s one of those games that captures the old-school arcade vibe – not necessarily in design, but in spirit. We’re talking about games that you quartered up at, with losers cycling out while the winner held their spot as the reigning king. It’s like if the commercial for the ‘90s board game Crossfire was a video game.
For the local multiplayer crowd, ClusterPuck 99 is on the same level of the greatest party, sports, and fighting games – the kind of game that requires best buds and a six pack, and will very likely end in fights, as all good sports and party games do.
ClusterPuck 99 comes to Xbox One soon via ID@Xbox. Maybe you should hit the arcade and sharpen up your air hockey and trash-talking skills, because you’re going to need them.