Platforms: PlayStation VR (reviewed), Oculus Rift, HTC Vive
Publishers: Adult Swim
Developers: Owlchemy Labs
Developers have been toying with all the possibilities VR has to offer for many years. Some have considered it to be the future of how we consume television and films, some think it’ll change gaming. Some have thought “Hey… maybe we can do both.” Adult Swim is one of those innovative thinkers.
Adult Swim took what is arguably one of the biggest TV shows on the air right now and basically created an extended episode that players can play through in the form of Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. You assume the role of a cloned version of Morty which Rick has created to help him do laundry and other tedious tasks he can’t be bothered to do himself. You’re pretty disposable and you’ll end up dying a lot at the hands of Rick, disgusting sci-fi abominations, and if you’re too curious or clumsy, yourself.
While Rick may have created you simply to do his laundry, you’ll still be doing a bunch of really fun things such as solving puzzles, shooting aliens, playing a VR game within a VR game, and listening to Jerry (Morty’s dad) talk to you through the bathroom door about “manhood” and his hemorrhoid cream. It’s a short game but it’s filled with a variety of activities that both challenge you and keep you super engaged. In particular, there was one fairly fun puzzle in the game regarding building an engine that threw me back to the unnecessarily complex and ridiculous word problems I had to solve in math class back in elementary and middle school.
Some may be a bit disappointed to hear that this $29.99 title is roughly 2 hours or so to beat but there’s actually quite a bit to do once you finish it. It likely won’t extend your play for more than another hour or two but there’s plenty of side activities such as collecting audio tapes voiced by characters from the show, playing a pretty hilarious VR sim that follows a boy named Troy from birth to death which features branching paths, and an arena where you can shoot aliens as much as you want. There was an effort made to put as much content as possible into this fairly compact game which has about three different locations, which is more than can be said for some other VR games of this nature.
The main selling point is definitely the stuff that specifically carries over from the show. While the game is jampacked with references and easter eggs in the various locations you can explore, what shines is the hilarious writing and voice work from the original cast of the show. Some game tie-ins usually just bring in another writing team of lesser quality to help churn out a script and cash-in on the name recognition alone but the jokes in Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality are on par with the ones in the show, if not better at times.
I’m not a super avid watcher of Rick and Morty but this game really had me laughing out loud and making me want to watch the show, once I wrapped the game up I went and started watching the show. The jokes are top notch, meta, and elaborate enough that they help make it feel like you’re just experiencing yet another whacky adventure of Rick and Morty and not some half-baked experience made for a video game.
The only major issues I had with Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality was that there were some very long loading screens and some issues with the tracking. I had to recalibrate over a dozen times because some items would be too far out of reach whether too high or too low and my hands wouldn’t be recognized by the PlayStation Camera anymore. It may just be a PSVR issue or a problem with my set-up but I moved the camera several times to try and make sure it could see me and I was usually always fully in view of it. It became a bit annoying and frustrating but the game offers a fairly quick solution to fix these issues.
While the price might be a bit steep, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is a worthy game to add to your VR collection. I’d recommend waiting for a sale due to the game’s short length but if you can get this for $15 – $20, it’s a must-have. It nails the humor of the acclaimed animated show, throws fun and engaging puzzles at you, and is filled with lots of content to help pad out the overall length of the game. While the game is short and features some technical hiccups, it’s not enough to detract from the hilarious adventure that the game takes you on.