Fluster Cluck Review – PlayStation 4

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Fluster Cluck is perhaps the most carefully pronounced video game titles since Big Mutha Truckers.   It also happens to be a shining gem when it comes to family game night around the ole PlayStation 4.  The concept is as outlandish as it is delightful.  You play as one of four employees who flies around various 3D levels in a tiny UFO using a tractor-beam to snatch up cows, camels, zombies, or anything else for that matter including other employees.   Your goal – take your cargo and drop it into the Chikkinizer – a mechanical drop zone that can turn any item into…wait for it….CHICKEN!

What sounds simple and even a bit silly when I type it (and you read it) is actually some of the most fun I’ve had with a local multiplayer game in a long time…even when playing alone. With three AI variations the computer offers up a formidable challenge as you race around the multi-tiered landscapes collecting the “item of the level” and transporting it to the chicken-producing target pad.   The other three employees will be trying to do the same, which often leads to fighting over the same cow or camel or even shooting each other.   If you manage to damage another player you can snatch their sparking UFO in your beam and drop them into the Chikkinizer for bonus points.

The game is loaded with content including five games modes ranging from a single-player campaign (with co-op) to versus and team variations of Battle and Deathmatch. The more you play the more points you earn that allow you to climb the corporate ladder earning fun promotions as well as new items like Ships, Hats, Weapons, Power-Ups, etc.  There are ten maps of varying size and the game timer dynamically shortens to match the smaller levels.

The fun design of the map as well as the very nature of the game lends itself to some creative strategies that might have some players “camping” near the Chikkinizer trying to ambush other employees and poach their cargo. Many of the larger levels include transport tubes that provide shortcuts, but again; these prove to be frequent ambush points.  Whether you simply want to race around and convert the local cattle into chicken or engage in furious UFO combat (or some mix of both) is entirely up to you.

The presentation is delightful with a fun opening movie that serves as both tutorial and New Employee Orientation, complete with boisterous announcer guy. Graphics are colorful and the art design for the various characters, creatures, and ships as well as all the fun special effects and flying feathered chickens will delight both young and old alike.  The graphics are far from “next-gen”, but in this age of stylized retro graphics I found them remarkably stylized and charmingly quaint while maintaining smooth and consistent framerates and functional camera angles.  The music is equally as delightful and quickens in pace when there are only seconds left on the clock, creating some surprising added tension.

The campaign mode will provide several solid hours of entertainment, but there is unlimited potential in just how much you and your family or friends will spend with Fluster Cluck anytime two or more people get together to play games. As much fun as it is playing against the computer, it only gets better when played with real people in the same room.  That being said, you will need four controllers.  If you have them, great, but at $60 a pop a four-player game can get mighty expensive, especially for a $15 game.   Make sure you tell your guests to “bring their own controller”.    Another minor annoyance was that even if the other players login using their own PS ID’s they will not be able to earn Trophies – it seems only the owner of the game has that honor.

As of this review PS Plus members can currently grab Fluster Cluck from the PS Store for $8.99, and honestly, that is a fair price. For as much fun as I had with this game, $15 is a bit high for a game that relies heavily on other people to create the best experience.  Then again, if you have a family of four or more and controllers to spare, Fluster Cluck might just provide some of the most memorable laughs and excitement you PS4 has seen all summer long.

Now if you’ll excuse me…I have a craving for some Chick-fil-A. Feel free to watch our video of the single-player career mode while I get me some tenders and waffle fries.

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