Trover Saves the Universe is fine. Mechanically it’s inoffensive and nice enough to play, narratively It’s basic as heck, and comedically it offends a lot of people in the ways we expect from something advertising itself as “by the creator of Rick & Morty”. What I’m trying to say, is the game is fine. No real problems here – if you enjoy the humor, you’ll have a good time.
The game is acceptably good, depending on the audience. But holy heck, it goes on forever. And the characters never stop talking. Oh, and there are collectibles hidden on each level to keep the characters talking on and on even further. Fortunately the combat is engaging and fun, with a decent variety of enemies to fight.
I won’t go into the humor or the specific jokes of the game – I think there are more qualified people than me to say why things are/aren’t funny. Instead I’ll just say there was enough entertainment value that I was both enjoying myself and fairly uncomfortable through my six hours of playtime.
Do I recommend Trover Saves the Universe? Yes, but it’s a thin line. I don’t recommend it to a lot of people I know. But here are the facts – Trover Saves the Universe has…
Solid combat mechanics.
Good exploration with plenty of collectibles for players to find.
A well-defined sense of humor in its presentation.
I played Trover Saves the Universe in VR on an Oculus Quest 2 on SteamVR, as purchased by myself.
Skin Deep is an upcoming shooter from Blendo Games described as an “immersive first-person shooter” with an increasing amount of complexities. The player controls a human in charge of protecting seven astro-cats on their ship as they are invaded by space pirates.
The Line is a short VR app that received a lot of acclaim in 2019 for being a well put-together experience for newcomers to virtual reality. It really isn’t surprising that so many people were in awe of The Line, as it has this certain magical quality to its narration and presentation.
The Haunted Graveyard is a short walking-only VR experience that will leave players feeling creeped out or mesmerized by its delightfully kooky characters and Disneyworld’ish dark-ride style presentation.
I’ve been loving the Steam Demo festival, Play What’s Next! So far I have mostly checked out the upcoming VR games – here are my thoughts on some of them.
TossVR – we play as an acrobatic ape climbing through jungle gym playgrounds of increasing difficulties. I had a lot of fun trying to figure out the exact movements and speed and everything required to get through! Very satisfying when you get to punch the “I finished the level” button! It’s also super colorful and happy to look at, so the game really improved my spirits! Steam link
BoomBox – this is a rhythm game in the style of something like Beat Saber, but wow it’s so much nicer to look at! There were only two songs available in the demo, but the dev promises to have a LOT more with a bunch of environments to go through. In the level that was available, it’s like you’re jogging down a trail and the whole experience is just so dang smooth and chill. This might sound stubborn, but if the devs price this under Beat Saber’s $30, I’ll definitely be buying it for its full release this month! Hope others will too, because a lot of work clearly went into making this game so seamless and relaxing. Steam link.
Sword Reverie – A JRPG with anime style visuals and HUGE SWORDS? It was fun! I only did part of the demo, but it was mostly just following a path and talking to characters, then combat, and you rinse/repeat. I think the devs have bigger plans than this though, based on the magic resource management system that’s in the game? Basically you have spells you can cast depending on how you wave your HUGE SWORDS and which element they have equipped. It felt so dang good Fus-Roh-Dah’ing badguys across whole dang battlefields with an arm swing, since all the enemies have ragdoll physics. Steam link.
I’ll be playing more demos on Steam, until the Play What’s Next festival ends on February 9th. Be sure to follow along on this blog, Instagram, and Twitter for all the cool stuffs.
Ah! I love these festivals so much! I love the focus on the huge variety of indie games that Steam has to offer. And the game selling platform just keeps putting more work into making the festivals accessible for players to find games, and profitable for developers. Steam just launched a new festival called “Play What’s Next” with a ton of game demos. We’re hype!
It’s just so exciting seeing all these games that are coming soon with playable demos. The festival will be lasting from February 03rd to 09th, though it’s unclear to me which demos will stay on Steam?
I’ll be trying to write short reviews of the demos I play through Instagram and Twitter over the next week, with a full roundup posted here sometime after the end of the festival. Stay tuned!
Ragnarock is a VR exclusive rhythm game made in the style of the massively popular Beat Saber. It feels like Beat Saber has created this whole new genre of rhythm games in the VR marketplace, where players dance and wave their controllers to the music to hit notes. The thing is about this growing little sub-genre though, is that so much of the featured music revolves around some form of electronica, I think is the term. When Ragnarock popped onto the scene airdrumming to its fantasy prog rock/metal soundtrack, I was sold on the game very quickly.
Ragnarock has a lot of neat visual mechanics that affect the gameplay in ways we hadn’t seen in other dance VR games. The absolute coolest of which, is that you play your songs aboard a Viking longboat as a drummer. The better you perform, the faster your Viking rowers make speed down this beautiful icy river. This is a real dang cool way of showing players basic score with no numbers, just a scenic journey.
The drumming can get a little difficult due to issues with height adjustment. I had trouble figuring out exactly what my drumsticks should look like before starting, so ended up having to start a session, end it, start a session, and end it, all so I could mess with the settings in trial and error. Still, the drumming felt good with haptic and visual feedback, especially once I had found a decent setup. Maybe developers can add some in-game advice about calibration? This should be about how to align your drums properly, how to stand, etc, for the best play session.
I openly admit I am very terrible at Ragnarock, and heck, I’m bad at most rhythm games. Despite this, I had an excellent time just listening to the songs and trying to make it further down the river with my Vikingfriends. Hopefully WanadevStudio can continue working on adding new songs and rivers and boats to the game, and by the time I come back to play next we’ll really Rock.
Gnomes & Goblins is one of those products that seems like it was designed to introduce people to the potential wonder of virtual reality games. Available on SteamVR and Viveport Infinity, I enjoyed my time in this fantastical experience. We play as a human exploring a magical forest of strange creatures and get to see their tiny villages and strange cultures as we walk through the paths presented by the game’s developer, Wevr.
Horror Bar VR is a delightfully ridiculous bartending type game. No other game has been able to pull off telling us to make a cocktail of blood and acid, garnished with a human nose, with such great humor and commitment to maintaining its core mechanics.
Arcanbreak is an enjoyable little game that introduces some clever point and click adventure design and teases a much larger world than what we get to play. One full playthrough of Arcanbreak took just over an hour of my afternoon, and I must say that I really wish for more.