Taskmaster

Review: Taskmaster VR Captures The Magical Chaos Of The Show

I’ve been a Taskmaster fan for years, so I knew I had to play it when Taskmaster VR appeared before me. The game is based on the hit Channel 4 show created and hosted by Greg Davies and Alex Horne. The show pits 5 contestants against each other in a series of tasks, usually devolving into utter chaos, with moments of genuine brilliance scattered throughout.

Taskmaster VR, developed by Scallywag Arcade in collaboration with the Taskmaster team, manages to bring that chaos to VR. Watching the show always made me feel like I could do well at the tasks, finding creative solutions to seemingly simple problems. Playing Taskmaster VR showed the opposite, and now I have to deal with knowing that almost every one of my attempts was sheer joyous panic. I had moments of brilliance, don’t get me wrong, but I now better understand all the comics I’ve spent years laughing at. While there are some technical issues, Taskmaster VR is a great collection of challenges and a must-play for any show fan.

Series Order

Taskmaster VR has two primary modes: one that takes you through 5 episodes of a season and a creative mode. The season mode is fantastic, bringing Greg and Alex to voice their respective roles. Each episode consists of the usual banter between hosts, three challenges, and a final summary, just like the show. The tasks are largely creative and offer multiple solutions, making you think on your feet if something may not be going exactly right. One of my favourites starts in the lab, where a phone rings and gives you a series of mini-tasks to complete. Finish them, and you’re given the next set, but longer, while introducing new tasks. It has you frantically running around the entire Taskmaster set, lovingly recreated here. Being familiar with the show helps here, as I knew where to look. The lab, shed, caravan, kitchen, and giant Greg Davies statue are on full display, finally allowing me to visit the set virtually.

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Two of the three tasks in any given episode occur at the Taskmaster’s house, while the last happens on stage. These stage tasks feel directly ripped from Alex’s fever dreams, bringing in things like remote-controlled shopping carts, taking place high above the floor, or punching several dummies with Alex’s face on them while Greg yells out instructions. They’re a lot of fun and a constant highlight.

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Missed Connections

Not every task works as well, with the physics and object detection of the game getting in the way at times. One early task has you making a sandwich with spatulas as hands. As one would expect, lots end up on the floor. Picking these things back up didn’t always work, with the spatulas phasing through or the item not correctly registering on the floor. Other tasks that require throwing objects into others can also be difficult. Throwing anything in VR is always a challenge, as the objects don’t act as you’d expect them to. The magic of Taskmaster VR is that while these things can be frustrating, they still work, given the nature of the source material. Tasks are meant to be chaotic, where ideas go wrong and improvising and adapting are necessary. The issues are frustrating at times, but even then, they add to the frantic nature of anything Taskmaster.

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The Roast Of The Player

Taskmaster VR wouldn’t be complete without Greg and Alex commentating on your performance and judging you throughout. The writing and delivery are excellent, as many lines align completely with their characters. It’s surprising how much Alex comments depending on your actions during a task, with dialogue specific to items and locations. Similarly, Greg and Alex’s banter on set is well done, with different comments depending on your performance in the task. Scallywag did a wonderful job of anticipating players’ plans and how they’d complete tasks, with each episode genuinely feeling like you’re the show’s star. I’ve always wanted to get roasted for my work on a task, and I got that in spades here.

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Taskmaster’s Creative Miss

After finishing the five episodes, you can either hop back in to try and get better scores, complete tasks differently, and hear new voice lines, or hop over to the creative mode. Right now, creative mode currently feels like the biggest missed opportunity. It gives you access to the full map and a tablet, allowing you to create and mess with the space you like. The developer’s intent here is for you to create tasks for friends and family to try. They come over, try your task, and stream their attempt to another device to watch, laugh, and comment on. Unfortunately, it’s just not engaging and feels empty. One of the best parts of the show is the banter and competition with other contestants; I would have loved to see that recreated here. Online multiplayer would add so much replayability, especially if you could create, share, and play tasks made by other players. The ultimate dream would be to play sets of tasks, similar to the created episodes, with other people online, competing for points and best efforts. The creative mode is just there, a shadow of what it could be in its current beta form. The developers have said they’re open to feedback and hear the want for multiplayer, so hopefully, this will expand with time.

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Verdict

Taskmaster VR is a must-play for any show fan and a great time. The tasks are fun and creative, offering multiple solutions and feel like an extension of the show. I had a smile throughout my entire playthrough, and while there isn’t much to do outside of those five episodes, there’s hope that more will be added to the game as time passes. Now, excuse me while I hop back in to continue to lose what little dignity I have left.

Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: Meta Quest 3

Taskmaster
Review: Taskmaster VR Captures The Magical Chaos Of The Show
Summary
Taskmaster VR lovingly captures the chaotic magic of the TV show, with fun tasks and great writing - a must play for any fan.
Liked
Fun tasks
Great writing
Captures the magic of the source material
Didn't Like
Creative mode is a miss in it's current form
Object detection can be spotty