Originally released in 2019 on Nintendo Switch, Clumsy Rush on Xbox One is pretty much the same game only with local four-player support instead of two and Achievements. The gimmick is the unique control scheme but that is also its downfall.
One thing Clumsy Rush does exceeding well is provide a wondrous and highly entertaining interface. Instead of simply selecting an option from the main menu, the player actually controls a hippo and stands on a button to start the game or select the options. The credits screen is filled with colorful emojis that represent the developers, and of course, the candy colored pastel visual palette is pleasing to the eye. The dozens of playable hippos also provide even more personality. The presentation is filled with charm and easy to see the developers cared about their product.
Unfortunately, gameplay isn’t as charming. Clumsy Rush is basically a Mario Party mini game stretched out into one release. Controlling a hippo, the goal is the grab a crown then make it to the finish line, avoiding traps, obstacles, and the other players along the way. Controlling each hippo is a fumbling mess, but that is the point of this game. Each trigger button corresponds to the legs on the playable hippos. Even after playing several matches, it will never become easy. It is pretty much impossible to walk straight or with any type of coordination, but that is what makes this game what it is. It helps when your opponents are also fumbling around but it quickly becomes frustrating when each player fights the controls more than each opponent. There is an option to switch to a standard analog stick control scheme, which makes the game significantly more playable, but it also makes the game boring as it essentially just turns the game into a race to the finish mixed with “tag.”
It is also important to mention that playing solo is pretty much pointless as the only opponent is yourself. Grabbing the crown then walking over the finish line is boring and doesn’t mean anything without an opponent. The game doesn’t even keep track of fastest times and there is no option to play against AI bots. Unless you have a couple extra local players, Clumsy Rush offers no incentive for single player play. If you do manage to play a local multiplayer game, there are many gameplay modifiers to select to keep replay value at a higher level.
Clumsy Rush is the perfect example of a game that means well but falls flat. So much care and heart was placed into the visuals, sound track, and overall presentation, but then suffers because of the limited and frustrating control scheme. If you have the tenacity to become accustomed to the wonky controls, and have a few friends that share your gaming dedication, then there could be a few minutes of fun with this low cost digital download. Everyone else should just check out Fall Guys instead.
Not As Good As: Fall Guys (PS4)
Slightly Better Than: Cannibal Cuisine (Switch)
Try It Instead: Bake ‘n Switch