Publisher: Squanch Games, Inc.
Developer: Squanch Games, Inc.
Release Date: 03/31/2019
Also Available On
Rick & Morty became an animation phenomeon due to its quirky humor, crazy art style, and memorable characters. A lot of people don’t like the show, which is fine, and a lot of people love it. I just want to preface this review by saying if you don’t like Rick & Morty you won’t like this game. It’s basically an interactive Rick & Morty episode with the same voice actors, but with original characters. It’s the same humor, but more vulgar and mature due to not needing to tone things down for cable TV.
You play as a Chairorpian. A floating person in a chair holding what looks like a PS4 controller. The center part shows Trover’s health and the button presses reflect yours in real life. This is mostly for playing in VR, but it’s still funny without. Your two dogs get stolen by an evil god thing and Trover is sent to you so you can control him to save the universe. The story is insane and crazy and while it makes sense it’s as simple as an animated TV episode. It’s nothing groundbreaking. The most entertaining part about the game is the dialog. Characters break the third and fourth wall constantly and call out typical video game tropes which is hilarious. You can stand near a character and they will drone on for several minutes longer with a new dialog. If you don’t do a certain action Trover will call you out on it knowing you’re supposed to do it. The writing never misses a beat and is spot on.
When it comes to gameplay this is where Trover kind of falters. It’s incredibly simple and basic and pretty boring. Trover has a lightsaber-looking sword and he has a simple basic and heavy attack, but the heavy attack has to be acquired later on. You also have a dodge roll button which also has to be acquired. It’s an obvious stretch for gameplay time and feels necessary. Enemies are “kiddie video game” territory in terms of ease. There’s zero challenge here. Some enemies need armor knocked off which you can do by throwing objects into them, but it’s still not a challenge. There aren’t any puzzles here either. The ones that could pass as one are super easy and require no thinking. There is some platforming, but this is marred by the weird camera angles due to your perspective. There are nodes that allow you to move around and you can hover higher up to get a bird’s eye view, but it still makes some platforming more difficult than it needs to be.
There are green babies you can collect to upgrade Trover’s health, but I didn’t bother much with this outside what was out in the open. The game is so easy the upgrades feel like an afterthought. I mostly enjoyed just exploring the weird worlds and listening to all the dialog. The game gets incredibly graphic, but I personally love this kind of stuff. Too many games are afraid to dive into this territory. It’s just gross, sexual, vulgar, and super weird which I can’t get enough of. The writing of the show is elevated a bit due to not needing to censor anything. Visually, the game is fairly tame outside of some cartoony gore, but the dialog goes off the rails.
The game can be finished in about 5 hours, maybe 6-8 if you collect all of the green babies. It doesn’t stay its welcome and has a satisfying ending. However, there’s zero replay value unless you want to go back in VR. The gameplay is so basic and dull that I wouldn’t even do that, to be honest. If it weren’t for the awesome writing and characters and striking visuals this would be a pretty basic and generic game at its core. The pacing is at least great and you get pushed along the story and always see something new. A single evening would suffice and it would be well worth your time.
Overall, Trover Saves the Universe is full of Rick & Morty humor cranked to 11, but offers simple childlike gameplay. If you hate the show you will hate this even more, but fans of the show must play this. The over-the-top writing that you never see or hear in video games is a breath of the fresh air and it’s never boring. Once you finish the game there’s no reason to come back, but the time spent is worth the price of entry.