Clumsy Rush is a couch co-op party game where you and a friend take control of a wiggly hippo whose objective is to grab a crown and race to the finish line. Featuring several randomised hippo characters and levels to work through, this game is one that will have your group laughing and cheering for victory.
However, the Manual Samuel-style movement system is enough of a burden that the fun might be spoiled by the difficulty involved in simply walking forward. Movement requires pressing the rear L and R triggers, each of which controls the left or right legs respectively. To this end, Clumsy Rush simplifies the concept created by games like Manual Samuel by not making you control any other body parts, as running towards the finish line is the only goal, much like QWOP.
Rather than this competition taking place in a 2D plane, Clumsy Rush takes you to a simplistic yet vibrant 3D field, where you have to attempt to keep your hippo moving in the right direction, rather than trying to maintain balance. This is done through the trigger presses, which when held down longer, have you turn further. A full press of the triggers will see you turn almost 180 degrees.
Unfortunately, this mechanic is largely inaccurate, which means when you are trying to quickly maintain a beat, you will often find yourself hitting a wall, or spinning randomly instead. This could make for some fun antics with friends, but I found myself feeling more frustrated by this lack of consistency than humoured by it.
As you or your competitor grab the crown and begin your fight for the finish, you have one thing at your disposal in order to try to grab the crown back. This mechanic involves bumping the crown-wielding hippo with your belly in order to send said crown flying, where you then have a chance to regain control of it. Beyond that, the gameplay is as simple as it gets. You are just going to be spending your time doing your best to walk in a straight line, while maintaining the crown.
Random game modifiers change things up slightly, but all in all you play on maps that pretty much act and look the same, while you continue to try your best to just move forward. These modifiers include things like oil, which pours over the field, making walking even harder as you slide around; or ChangeLegs, which also makes things harder by switching which trigger controls which leg. Each modifier does its best to make the limited gameplay even more difficult, though as the maps are so small, you can rest assured that you’ll bumble your way to the checkered flag eventually.
On the whole, Clumsy Rush is a pretty B-tier couch co-op party game. Being limited to only two players really limits its potential as a true party game, and although supremely simple, the walking mechanic is inaccurate enough to cause more frustration than fun.
However, for the low entry price, this is a game that could offer some enjoyment to small groups for a weekend get-together. A kids’ single-player mode also offers something for your child to mess around with, but not having a real single-player experience makes this one as straight-forward as it gets.
Clumsy Rush £4.99
Clumsy Rush is a party game that needed more to make it stand out. Without an actual single player mode, frustrating inaccuracies in the walking mechanics, and being limited to two at a time when playing as a group make it less than ideal.