There are few shows in the modern era that divide opinion quite like Rick and Morty. It is very much a show that you either love or hate, but regardless of your opinion on their creation, it’s hard to deny that both Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon both excel in their particular brand of irreverent, toilet humour.
Trover Saves the Universe is their third attempt to bring that comedic formula to video games and VR in particular. While it never strays too far away from the successful tone of Rick and Morty, for the most part, Justin Roiland has succeeded in creating one of the most enjoyable VR experiences to date.
Centred around Trover, a purple eye-hole alien and a nameless, voiceless chairorpian – more on those later – you must journey to fight Glorkon, an evil alien who kidnaps your puppies. After stealing your two adorable sidekicks and placing them in his eye-holes, Glorkon sets about destroying the universe. It’s up to you and Trover to travel the universe and stop his evil plans.
As far as stories go, it’s pretty out there, but it provides Justin Roiland with the perfect opportunity to create a universe filled with dynamic, whacky and memorable characters. Trover is the perfect partner to your silent protagonist; voiced by Justin (and sounding a lot like Morty), Trover is a brash, crude and acerbic character who carries the narrative perfectly throughout the game.
As a chair-bound chairorpian (geddit?), you warp from point to point in this VR world. At each of those points you have different height levels you can view each immediate area from. It’s a smart gameplay decision which ensures the VR experience is never too intense.
Across each level, players must control Trover through light-platforming segments, puzzle solving and combat. While never inherently difficult in any area, Trover provides enough of a challenge to keep you engaged across its five or so hours. Combat opens up in the later stages of Trover with new combat abilities and tougher enemies to boot.
While the game’s ‘on rails’ movement system would imply there’s little room for exploration in Trover, there’s actually a lot of extra content to be found hidden throughout the universe. There are countless references to be discovered and a set of collectibles referred to as ‘power babies’ which increase Trover’s power. There’s a lot of extra dialogue to be heard from the majority of characters, with Justin Roiland ad libbing extra lines for those players who stick around after story cutscenes. One such example involved several characters collectively rubbing their nipples as they meditated, something that a good majority of the player base will likely miss!
It’s these little moments of comedic gold where Trover Saves the Universe really shines. It plays like an extended version of the Rixty Minutes – a Rick and Morty episode in which show creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon concocted a string of quick and increasingly surreal TV shows. This kind of off-the-cuff comedy will undoubtedly not be to everyone’s tastes, but for me, it’s made for one of the funniest games of this generation.
Playable with or without VR, I would definitely recommend popping a headset on. Throughout the game there are moments in which you feel you really are there, exploring the universe alongside Trover, albeit from a very comfy chair. Characters ask you questions, enemies address you directly and towards the end of the game, you gain the ability to lift and throw objects using your head.