Remember when couch co-op used to be a thing? I do. Then remember when it seemed like the man tried his hardest to keep couch co-op from being a thing anymore for, no doubt, nefarious and cynical reasons? I remember that also.
Fluster Cluck is a pushback against this nameless, faceless, man that hates fun. Fluster Cluck is all about couch co-op, to the point where its singleplayer campaign should really be written in quotes as "single-player campaign" because there really isn’t one. It’s simply multiplayer with bots. This shocked me seven or eight years ago when full retail releases pulled that trick, but now it makes me sad. And a little angry for feeling lied to.
So I’m currently angry at Fluster Cluck--which is easy since it’s not at all a good game independent of all that other stuff. It’s ugly, full of garish colors, simple animation and art design, unpleasant sound effects, and extremely basic gameplay.
There are two ways to play Fluster Cluck: Career and Battle. Career is the alleged singleplayer mode. It can be played alone, or with three friends as long as they exist physically in the same room with you, since all multiplayer in Fluster Cluck is local. Missions, such as they are, occur on multiplayer maps against bots sans any sort of story. To advance, you have to finish first.
Finish first at what, you ask? Well, you have to pilot a small armed hovercraft around a map, picking up chickens, camels, and fallen enemies, then dropping them into the annoyingly named "chikkinizer" for points. The gameplay boils down to imprecisely floating around the map, shooting at your opponents twin-stick shooter style, picking up the ones you kill and trying to drop them off for points before they de-spawn, and maybe doing the same thing with the chickens and camels that litter each map. You can also collect powerups that range from shields to missiles. Don’t expect anything more complex than that.
Battle is the multiplayer mode. There are four types: Death Match, Team Deathmatch, Chikkin Hunt, and Team Chikkin Hunt. Chikken Hunt and Team Chikkin Hunt are Fluster Cluck’s singleplayer modes masquerading completely unchanged as multiplayer game modes. Death Match and Team Deathmatch remove the chikkin collectin’ from the equation, leaving you to take down your couch buddies for bragging rights.
In both modes, as you progress through the levels, you unlock more and more ways to customize your ship, pilot, gun, and gear. It adds very little depth to a game that’s already about a shallow as game can get.
Honestly, I’d have a hard time recommending Fluster Cluck to even the most hardcore group of couch co-op gamers. In a world where those who are truly dedicated to this style of gaming probably can still fire up Goldeneye or Halo or some other pre-online multiplayer game, there’s no reason to spend money on something as basic and unremarkable as Fluster Cluck.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I've been gaming since the Atari 2600, and I'm old enough to have hip checked a dude way bigger than me off of the game I wanted to play at an actual arcade (remember those) while also being too young to be worried about getting my ass kicked. Aside from a short hiatus over the summer and fall of 2013, I've been with Gamingnexus.com since March 2011. While I might not be as tech savvy as some of our other staff-writers, I am the site's resident A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones expert, and self-proclaimed "master of all things Mass Effect." I may be in my 30's, but I'm not one of those "retro gamers." I feel strongly that gaming gets better every year. When I was a child daydreaming of the greatest toy ever, I was envisioning this generation's videogames, I just didn't know it at the time and never suspected I would live to seem them come into being. View Profile