The VR gaming space is in a bit of a strange place right now. After launching in 2016 the technology was met with high praise, but sales haven’t totally caught up to the hype. A high barrier of entry has led to only a relative handful of gamers with true VR setups, and game sales are suffering because of it. So, it’s been rare to see full AAA experiences in VR, and rarer for major IPs to make the leap. Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality has done so though, with a short but sweet VR experience from the makers of Job Simulator.
If you’ve already played Job Simulator then you should quickly pick up the key mechanics of Rick and Morty VR. And if you haven’t played Job Simulator then you definitely should. Basically you are a clone of Morty, created by Rick to, of course, do odd jobs around the garage. Doing laundry, fixing inter-dimensional computers. You know, that sort of stuff. You’ll perform these tasks at the beck and call of Rick Sanchez, the sometimes evil, often just insane scientist from the show.
The world is meticulously crafted to look and feel like it’s straight out of Rick and Morty. The opening, where you get to physically interact with the titular characters, was one of the funnest moments of the game. After this you’re usually on your own, though you can create a Youseeks (the game’s version of Meeseeks) to help you interact with two places at once. This, along with an interesting new take on VR’s typical teleportation movement system creates a solid VR experience throughout.
Rick and Morty VR takes full advantage of room scale virtual reality and all that it offers to gameplay
Rick and Morty VR takes full advantage of room scale virtual reality and all that it offers to gameplay. The garage, where you spend the vast majority of your time in the game, is sectioned off into three distinct areas. You can teleport between them to make things easier, but movement is very open, so it all comes down to how much space you have available to play the game. I rarely encountered my Chaperone walls during play, thanks to the intuitive and useful teleportation mechanic. This helped cement the immersion, with only key gameplay moments breaking it, and usually to offer up an interesting VR-specific challenge.
The gameplay is pretty standard for what we’ve seen from Owlchemy Labs so far. You pick stuff up and put it somewhere else. You solve a quick puzzle, deciding where something goes, or finding something hidden in the environment. You flip switches, turn dials, and generally push your motion controllers to the limit. Some of these are short and easy, others actually take some mental and physical work, or a lot of trial and error. Overall the puzzles in Rick and Morty VR make for an interesting, if not altogether challenging experience.
This all sounds kind of dull when described, but it’s how it all works in VR that makes it somewhat magical. I say somewhat because if you’ve been ingrained in VR gaming for a while that magic may be wearing off by now, and the gameplay won’t really wow you like it used to. Luckily, that’s not really the focus of Rick and Morty VR.
Instead, this game rests on the writing and humor. Putting players into the world of Rick and Morty, the game is often hilarious, and always flat out crazy. If you’re a fan of the show then there’s simply no end to the amount of little touches that will at least give you a giggle. And certain moments will make you laugh out loud. Even when it’s not necessarily being funny, Rick and Morty VR is fun in just how well it puts you into the strange world of the show.
Call backs to classic episodes, returning characters, and tons of little surprises hidden throughout the game are what will really give you the best bang for your buck. While I usually try not to focus on the price in a review, Rick and Morty VR has brought the usual background debate to the main stage. The game is short, like only a couple of hours long, and at the launch price of $29.99, many are wondering if it’s worth it. The answer to that question, as it so often does, comes down to what you want out of the game.
It’s true that Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality doesn’t deliver a long experience. You can and probably will finish it in a single run through, though you might wanna take time to look around. But the time you spend in the game does deliver on exactly what it promises. You feel like a part of the Rick and Morty universe. The humor is there, the voices are there, the zaniness and questioning of reality are all there. You will get some good laughs out of the game, even if the game itself doesn’t keep your interest for more than one play through.
There is replayability here though. Some sections will play differently depending on your actions. There’s tons of extra lines that you can hear by interacting with certain items or performing some out-there action. Hidden items are the real treat though, with tons of little in-jokes or just fun items to find and mess with. It all comes down to just how big a fan you are of the original property, and how much you’re dying for some new VR content.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality can be easily dismissed due to its short length, but the gameplay and writing does make up for it to a degree. If you’re a big fan of the show, or just enjoyed every second of Job Simulator, then Rick and Morty VR should be an easy buy. If you’re starving for VR content then it’s certainly worth a look. But if you’re on a budget and need something more out of the game than two hours of hilarious fun with some replayability, then this might not be for you.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality
- Available On: PC
- Published By: Adult Swim Games
- Developed By: Owlchemy Labs
- Genre: Simulation
- US Release Date: April 20th, 2017
- Reviewed On: PC
- Quote: "Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is a short experience, but it delivers on almost all of its promise. Those with a VR headset and little to play will find a lot to enjoy here, even if it's over far too soon."