I have seen and done terrible things. I have expelled innocents from the cliffs, sacrificed pets in front of their owners and ground more Power Babies than I can count, and did everything without leaving my floating chair, laughing all the time. Trover Saves the Universe did this to me. It is a platform game action of the mind and voice of Rick Royland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty, and although technology is not connected to that program in any way, his humor is so messy and his gameplay is so Funny How watching an episode unfold.

Designed primarily for virtual reality (although you can also play without it), it puts you in the shoes of a Chairman, an alien race whose members never leave an elegant teleport chair that is controlled by a device that conveniently looks like a controller of PS4... Your partner, Trover, a purple monster with babies for the eyes and a laser sword in hand, helps you on this profane journey, whom you use to run, jump and fight through a short series of strangers and, often, hilarious alien worlds.

The configuration of the story is simple: an evil alien named Gordon has stolen your two dogs and, naturally, gained the unstoppable power of a god by placing them in the basins of his empty eyes ... well, maybe that's not so simple. But basically it comes down to "stop the bad guy, rescuing dogs, saving the universe," and the ridiculous dialogue along that trip often refers to the fact that all this is just a video game in fun ways: moments like Trover It tells you to skip a complicated puzzle button completely because "this is not that kind of game".

If you've seen any of the episodes of "Interdimensional Cable" by Rick and Morty, you'll generally know what to expect from humor and writing in Trover Saves the Universe. Roland's unique brand of loose and improvised jokes with intentionally careless delivery is as strange, funny and unpredictable here as on television. Many of the voices are made by Roland himself (he will recognize most of them, since Trover and Gordon sound suspiciously close to Morty and Rick, respectively) and have an informal delivery quality that is extremely welcome in the world of video games where Acting may too often feel stunted and stiff.

Trover Saves the Universe made me crack all the time and, often, I simply stopped and listened to the reams of extra dialogues that the characters would continue rambling long after I could have walked away. Sometimes I laughed at the absurd, sometimes thanks to genuinely well-crafted jokes and, often, only for cheap but effective shock value. The last point is my biggest complaint with writing (or lack of it): Roland's comedy style is like drunken boxing in the sense that his unpredictability is the key to making you laugh, but during the moments when he gets A little too "drunk" and leaves the rails, always falls into a senseless profanity without giving an effective blow.

To be clear, I have no problem with the potty's mouth (although there is a censored way if you have it) and many of the profane nonsense here increases your hilarity. But things like a character who shouts at random "AIDS!" Again and again, when they finished with their witty jokes, it was one of the few moments that felt more transparent as the voice actor was left without things to say instead of a real joke. It was supposed to make me laugh. Hard moments like this keep the story closer to the second episode of Rick and Morty's Interdimensional Cable than any of the more carefully structured arcs of the show: it's still fun in general, but it's not the best thing that this crazy style can do.

Fortunately, Trover Saves the Universe does not trust to make you laugh alone. Underneath the crazy plot and ridiculous conversations is one of the best virtual reality platforms I've played. It has a healthy combination of platforms, combat, and problem-solving, none of which is too complex, but everything is nice at all times.

VR mechanics is an intelligent combination of the third person platform you'll find in Astro Bot: Rescue Mission or Lucky's Tale with the first-person teleportation movement of many VR shooters. You move and attack with Trover directly using the gamepad but from the sitting perspective of the Chairorpian that can only teleport between specific nodes to which Trover runs. It is a system that I have not seen in another virtual reality game, but I fell in love with it.

What If I Don't Have VR?

You can still play through the entire Trover Saves the Universe if you do not have a VR headset, but some of what makes the experience special are certainly lost. Being confined in a chair, a thematically compelling reason why you can not move and that often makes fun of Trover himself suddenly feels restrictive and slow.

Often, Trover is off the screen during combat while you multitask between different targets, but that is easier when you can take a quick look at it if you lose sight of it. That's a lot harder with a slow-tracking joystick, and aiming shots also get much harder for the same reason. In general, it's playable and still fun, but it's certainly not the way it was meant to be seen.

While Trover performs most of the movement and combat, you unlock improvements to your chair that allow you to pick up or throw objects and, most importantly, move up and down between three different height levels. Sitting at ground level looking at Trover's eye to eye gives a more personal feel to the conversations, but firing to the next level is a great way to get a better view without problems during fights. The levels are also designed to use this in interesting ways, sometimes placing Trover behind the walls you have to lift to look over or using mushroom-shaped trees to block your view if it rises too high.

The fight itself is fun and satisfying, but quite simplistic until the last third of the campaign. Trover practically starts with nothing more than a basic attack and a jump, so you're almost always jumping and hitting different flavors of the Gordon clone for the first half. The enemies increase slowly in complexity, but it is not until you start receiving improvements like a strong hit, a dodge roll and the Chairman's ability to throw objects at enemies, which really starts to be difficult and fun.

The fights later can be a hectic dance, since you have divided your attention between controlling Trover and throwing objects that often need to be attacked by a heavy attack before you can grab them. That's when the simple battle mechanics really start to work together convincingly and interestingly, instead of being an easy but fun distraction. The fight was always fun, but these later fights made me wish that the whole game had its creativity.

It took me around four or five hours to beat the campaign, which is shorter than I expected. Realistically, there are only about five main levels to play, although certainly more visits than that full of strange characters and silly conversations. Everywhere, Trover Saves the Universe sends you is charming and varied to see, full of personality and attractive to explore, so I just wanted more of everything.

Hidden in some of those worlds are dozens of Green Power Baby collectibles that are used to unlock health improvements for Trover (and also to make them super high, because of course, they do). They are totally optional, but I loved going through each level to find them all, driven by Trover who promise a special prize at the end of the story, if you do. Their hiding places make great use of the mechanics of the height of the chair and the nodes of teleportation, with Power Babies hidden in corners that can only be seen from certain heights or viewing angles.


Trover Saves the Universe is a short and sweet virtual reality platform game wrapped in one of the most ridiculous video game stories you've ever seen. Justin Roiland and Squanch Games have done an excellent job of taking the ridiculous and free humor of Rick and Morty and shaping it around a simple but nice 3D fighter, even if he lacks complex and well-crafted plotlines, the best episodes of that program They are known for. It loses something when played in 2D, but it benefits so much from its unique virtual reality mechanics that any person (or at least someone over 17, given its classification) with a headset should try.

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