Trover Saves the Universe will hit PlayStation 4 and PSVR on May 31 and PC on June 4. The game comes to us from Squanch Games and was created by Justin Roiland of Rick and Morty fame. We got a chance to check out the PSVR version.
Here is the official info: “Your dogs have been dognapped by a beaked lunatic named Glorkon who stuffed them into his eye holes and is using their life essence to destroy the universe. You’re partnered with Trover, a little purple eye-hole monster who isn’t a huge fan of working or being put in the position of having to save the universe. He’s also not that big a fan of you quite frankly, and neither am I (Jk, you’re great). Only you and Trover can save everything in this bizarre comedy adventure!”
You can check out the trailer below, but if you’re at work or around the kids, just be aware that there is some salty language.
Let’s start with that. You can choose to play in the censored mode, but if you’re smart you’ll play in the normal mode, full of cursing and dirty jokes. It’s hysterical. In fact, there is a reason we’re addressing the dialogue first. It’s the first thing that stands out. In the story, you’re a Chairopean, a guy who lives in a society where people don’t leave their chairs. You have dogs, which sort of makes you a pariah. They have legs and walk, you know. No one likes that. When Glorkon comes to steal your dogs for his eye holes, you have to rescue them and the universe with this purple guy named Trover. He doesn’t really like you, but if you guys work well together, he comes to respect you. that doesn’t stop him from giving you crap. The monsters you encounter certainly do.
Honestly, the thought of the amount of hours of improv that this game must have recorded is staggering. I got stuck in a part for a while, and the villains I was supposed to kill never repeated themselves, talking about a keto diet, how they shouldn’t curse because this game was T for Teen, flexing their muscles… it went on and on. I actually didn’t want to finish the puzzle because it was so much fun to listen to. At one point, the guy giving you the mission says “I’ve got a sweaty, wet person in my office, that I have to lick later.” I mean, what? You laughed though, didn’t you? Heck, if you can’t play VR but someone in your house can (and you can play this game in both modes), just listening will be entertaining enough.
The game mechanics are intuitive and tight from the beginning. The intro has you in a chair in your house (and having you in a chair cuts out a lot of the vertigo some people get from VR). The shows on your TV and the news have instructions for you on getting your remote, grabbing objects and moving. Once Trover comes in, he will instruct you on moving to teleport points. You move him forward to the points, then zap yourself forward. So really, you’re in a chair, playing as a guy in a chair who is controlling the character. So meta!
VR can be difficult from a control standpoint, because you’re working on a whole different plane. The controls in Trover Saves the Universe are so easy to use and seamless. Also, the introduction to new controls sometimes means that characters spit on you. Yes, you read that correctly. You’ll be solving puzzles by stacking blocks and deciding whether or not to kill a bunch of villagers because some guy says you have to. You don’t. Your choices in this game do affect the story. If you do kill the villagers, the character tells you the made a mistake and that he gave you the wrong coordinates. He berates you and so does Trover. He gives you crap for your murdering ways and stupid choices. If you don’t, he thanks you because this was the village that does his dry cleaning and cleans his house. He also prepares a cauldron of DNA that you collected by tricking enemies into coming out by saying a kid fell in a well, or that there are reruns of Golden Girls on. You also collect power babies, these little green guys who look like dolls that make Trover really happy. I mean, he’s, ahem, very fond of them. Eye sockets are a big thing here. That’s all I’ll say.
The art style is bizarre in the very best way, and so are the characters like Doopy, who speaks like she’s from Fargo and makes you move boxes from house to house because she really likes that basketball hoop. But wait, move them back because it’s too close to the cliff. Or the guy who insults you, then wants you to help him by killing a guy, but his wives are in the guy’s house and maybe they go off a cliff… or maybe you don’t help him and he just yells about what a jerk you are. (He doesn’t use the word “jerk.”)
Overall, this game is an absolute blast. It’s creative (and screw people who say profanity is a crutch to creativity… this is the most creative profanity I’ve ever heard), it’s so much fun to play, and even if you’re new to VR, or don’t think you can play, this one is going to be one that works for you.
Trover Saves the Universe is a must-play if you have PSVR, and even if you don’t. Just maybe don’t play when your parents are nearby.