Before diving into What the Bat? I’d like to mention the studio’s previous game, one I’m still enjoying three years after discovering it.
One of the only games I’ve been consistent with over the last few years is What the Golf? from Triband. I discovered this gem on Apple Arcade and found myself obsessing over completely every level before buying it on the Switch and completing the entire game all over again. For someone who doesn’t necessarily like golf, I am an advocate for a game that has very little to do with actual golf.
So upon learning, there was a follow-up called What the Bat? available on PSVR2, I knew what I had to do. Somehow, the insanity of what I spent the last several hours came off as being charming over bizarre. With both Sense controllers being your bats, the basic is to swing the ball at various things.
While the concept sounds mundane, this isn’t the average video game. It’s a game filled with humour, wit, and home runs. Just like in What the Golf? your goal is to sink the ball in the hole but it essentially takes on a life of its own in the path to get there.
See, the essential essence of what your goal is here is to complete the level by finding the right solution. I’d even call it closer to a puzzle game because of how you’re working toward finding the right piece to move on to the next set of challenges. While I don’t think the successor to What the Golf? reaches the high of its predecessor, it has enough in common to make this a great follow-up.
Swing and a Miss!
There are some hilarious situations you’ll face as a person with bats for hands. I’ll start by saying that some levels will ask you to hit a grand slam, and another level might ask you to paint your horse like a zebra or play pinball. Another level sees you walking around a museum while taking photos of the displays and another level have you smacking balls at traps across your lawn.
There’s a distinct level of absurdity the series offers you if you’d be inclined to get weird for a few hours. Without a doubt, there is a lot of creativity these levels provide the player and some of them are downright hilarious. In fact, this works well and in favour of What the Bat? because it is constantly throwing you into some of the oddest situations without so much as batting an eye (pun intended).
Some levels don’t feel like they are fit either, some levels, in particular, had me frustrated because some levels feature an in-game joystick which is used to finish the level it is featured in. One level had me trying to play a game of golf from an old console. One hand would be used to move the joystick to find the right angle to hit the ball while my other hand would press a button to finish the action. It wasn’t as precise as I’d hoped so it took a few tries to understand my limitations. Thankfully it is rarely frustrating as a lot of the issues I had I was able to find a workaround.
However, while it’s all fun and games, there is still one elephant in the room: some of the controls take some getting used to. If you’re excited to see how insane some of the levels go, be sure you have the room to do so because it is a room-scale VR title, one that you’ll have to set the play area for when starting your journey into the big leagues. So if you’re going in expecting to be able to be seated and enjoy the experience from your couch, you’ll need to ensure you have a lot of room to be able to move around.
On February 21, Triband announced it had updated What the Bat? to be more compatible and playable in Stationary mode. This should make the room-scale requirement a bit less of a burden for those without the room to enjoy the absurdity of Triband’s incredible series of titles.
What the Bat? is a great follow-up to What the Golf? even if never hits the same levels of absurdity. When things get weird, they get weird. There is only so much you can do before finishing but for those five or six hours, you’ll be left with a ton of scenarios where using a bat seems like a great idea. In the case of What the Bat? everything seems to be the perfect opportunity to pull out a bat and get things done.
[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]
Reviewed on: PSVR2
Great humor like its predecessor
Great for small sessions
Sometimes things don’t work as intended, like trying to finish a puzzle correctly