Trover Saves the Universe is a game made for VR. It’s also a game made for fans of Justin Roiland’s brand of humour. Don’t let that deter you if you don’t like Rick and Morty though, because this is a fun VR game without and baggage and it’s meant to be a fun romp through some of the weirdest worlds I’ve seen in gaming.
Roiland’s brand of comedy continues here and honestly, it’s silly as hell and worth the six-eight hours of gameplay. In order to talk about Trover Savesthe Universe, you’ll need to leave skepticism as you dive into what is essentially a very long episode of Rick & Morty, even though the game isn’t linked to the hit television series.
My first experience with this game was last year during Fan Expo 2018. A booth had the demo set up and featured the opening moments of the game, and while the demo was short and silly, it left me wanting more.
The story is simple to follow and kicks off immediately as you boot up the game. Trover is a game designed with VR in mind but is also playable without it, too. Playing as a nameless Chairorpian, a race who sit solely on their ass and use a controller to get around, a deity named Glorkon steals your two dogs and places them in his eye sockets. By doing this, Glorkon gains the godly powers and plans on destroying the universe. Silly, right? It’s worth it, I promise.
Your primary function is to control your partner Trover, a purple being with Power Babies for eyes. Power Babies serve as upgrades and allow Trover to do things like a heavy attack, roll, and double jump through all the wacky places you two visit. Some locations include puzzles for the two of you to solve, (or not depending on how well you do), other places have you moving someone out of one house, to the one next door.
What really caught my attention in Trover, was all the additional dialogue every character has. Frequently I’d find myself wanting to move on, but deciding it be better to hold back and hear what each character has to say. There is a lot of extra dialogue, and lots of rambling but most of it is intentionally meant to not make sense. According to an AmA on Reddit held by Squanch Games, we learned the Justin Roiland spent 20 hours voice improv lines. That’s double the time I spent playing the game. Roiland’s humour is full of improvisation and you hear it when the characters he voices speak. And while it might not mesh well with everyone, I was constantly smiling or laughing at the scenarios I found myself in.
And while the worlds are varied and often silly, exploration doesn’t factor into each location. Not that there aren’t some hidden items strewed out in nooks and crannies. There isn’t enough incentive to explore because as a VR-designed game, you move from portal to portal through Trover. He can’t get too far from you either, so it’s easier to follow the path and forge on ahead. Power Babies are hidden around each world though and finding them increases your health. In total, we only get around five worlds and locations that offer any gameplay, other places show up but only for a backdrop to keep the momentum going.
Most enemies are variations of Glorkan. He’s cloned himself into typical enemies like a heavy-type, a ranged-type and so on. Their banter is excellent though, but the encounters suck because it isn’t meant to be deep gameplay, but instead pushes the story forward.
Trover Saves the Universe is a treat. As a video game, it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome and provides tons of laughs, and good use of VR. Somehow, this is the best format for Roiland’s humour, aside from Rick & Morty and I’m eager for the downloadable content Squanch Games is teasing. Nothing in the game is overly complicated and serves a purpose: pushing Trover to save the universe from destruction.
[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]