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Review

Throw Anything Review

"Removing the head or, destroying the brain."

VR has been around for a few years now and while a lot of developers are starting to create more in-depth experiences, others have opted to keep things simple and arcade orientated. Throw Anything is much like any other shooting gallery that’s oversaturating Steam, but instead of shooting the undead it asks the player to throw items out of a window. It’s a novel concept, probably inspired by Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, but there are a few design decisions I wish were tossed out.

While most VR games tend to go for a semi-realistic vibe, Throw Anything opts for a very blocky and cartoony style instead. This makes things less demanding on your PC as a result and it keeps a consistent level of performance throughout. Yet while the visuals are pleasing, the music is incredibly repetitive and peppy to the point of annoyance.

Throw Anything’s gameplay revolves around the theme of each room you find yourself in. One level could have you chucking out a nerd’s possessions, while others are set in an office or restaurant kitchen. Of course, some items are heavier than others, meaning they’re more effective at knocking off zombies from the building. You can also break larger objects into smaller pieces, as well as take delivery of items from a robot.

Wielding both controllers as hands for picking up stuff and throwing them out of the window is simple enough, but there are some more complex items that either uncover more useful objects, or require some setup to use to their fullest, such as loading the pistol. They’re intuitive enough and it’s obvious how everything works, but subtle enough that you might mistakenly throw them out of the window instead in a blind panic as the hordes edge ever closer.

Each level comes with a theme and each theme has unique items. For example, the office has not only a safe that upon opening with the correct combination unveils more things to throw at enemies, but also has a 3D printer to make more items and a photocopier to copy items. It gives each level a unique feel that’s sorely needed, since the game itself is otherwise very repetitive.

There’s just one constant annoyance throughout, as the frequently wailing NPC runs around the room like a headless goon, instead of helping you dump the contents of the room onto the horde below. You can of course throw them out of the window and they do mostly reappear as if by magic, but they will have broken limbs, or might succumb to the zombie horde and scale the building for revenge. It’s an annoying sub-objective, not least because they mostly get in the way when throwing stuff to break other stuff.

Across the five levels, you’d be be forgiven for thinking that it’s as easy as lobbing bric-a-brac out of a window and calling it a day, but the zombie hordes will just keep coming at you, at times in clumps that are hard to deal with, and with the total to kill usually approaching triple digits.

Later on, there will be other variants, such as zombified birds or businessmen that have more staying power, together with a boss that take even more re-killing. This is where Throw Anything’s real challenge comes, in managing not only the regular hordes in abundance, but all the special zombies wanting to pay you a visit.

Honestly, that’s all that Throw Anything has to offer. At £13.49, it’s an appropriately priced experience for what is essentially a game about looking down and flailing your VR controllers of choice, like a furious neighbour who is tormenting imaginary pests on their patio. You’ll definitely look strange playing it and that’s part of the charm of more casual games such as this.

What’s Good:

  • Fun visuals
  • Mindless destruction is cathartic
  • Reasonably priced for what it is
  • Some interesting themed items in levels

What’s Bad:

  • Difficulty masks overall game length
  • Gameplay can get monotonous
  • NPC is there to annoy rather than help
  • Short music loops

It has some neat ideas and is certainly a break from the norm, but Throw Anything is surprisingly old-school. Its difficulty and the constantly screaming NPCs that won’t shut up are chief among the game’s issues, but frantic chucking out junk will entertain for a short if challenging time.

Score: 5/10

Version Tested: HTC Vive

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