By now, Justin Roiland might be one of the most recognizable voices in cartoon animation. The popularity of Rick and Morty along with some other well-known shows featuring his voice have ensured that. Trover Saves the Universe leans heavily on Justin Roiland’s voices and comedy styling to the point that your opinion of the game is contingent on how much you’d like a deep dive in a Rick and Morty-styled universe.
You’re Not Trover
It’s odd that this game goes by the name Trover Saves the Universe. The player does not take on the role of Trover, though the nameless Chairorpian protagonist does control Trover throughout the game.
You see through the eyes of the Chairorpian and move Trover around to perform most of the combat and some of the actions within the game. It ends up feeling less like you’re a character in the game and more like an omnipotent being hovering above it all and manipulating things, you’re never personally in danger.
The combat and Trover’s handful of other interactions are simple, to say the least. It’s rudimentary hack and slash mechanics revolve around smashing a single button and swinging what is essentially a lightsaber at enemies and some interactive objects.
He does gain a heavy attack later in the game, but it does little to affect the combat that remains limited in its challenge. The player also gains some abilities part way through the game that allow you to interact with the environment by lifting, moving, and flinging objects. These serve both in combat and in some decent puzzles throughout.
Justin Roiland Comedy
The gameplay of Trover Saves the Universe is really just a way to keep the game interactive. It could practically work as more of a “walking simulator” game, and at points, it feels like one. The allure of the game, overall, is the story experience.
If you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, this is going to appeal to you and also be familiar. At points, it may seem just a bit too familiar. The voices that Justin does are great and are used in a variety of characters along with a pretty solid voice cast all around, but the familiarity of them had me, a fan of a few shows these voice actors are a part of, thinking more about those other characters. Part of that has to do with how notable those other characters are, but part of it is also how some of the bits drag on.
You see, if you wanted to, you could probably blitz through this game in a couple hours at most if you avoided all of the collectibles and didn’t sit to listen to all of the lengthy dialogue. Much of the entertainment value comes from hanging out and listening to what had to be many hours of recording different responses and conversations for the variety of characters in the game.
Every time you come across someone, they’ll run on for minutes at a time until they get to a point where they loop dialogue. It can be absolutely hilarious, or it can get monotonous and boring, and the gap between them can be wide.
To appreciate it though, you have to enjoy Justin Roiland’s brand of comedy. It has moments of brilliance and that iconic “stammering” impromptu feel that he has mastered. However, it also feels like there are many moments where it’s just dick and poop jokes.
Don’t get me wrong, I laughed at a good number of them, but once you’ve heard a dozen, it starts getting kind of obvious. Maybe Dan Harmon and/or some other Rick and Morty writers are the ones that provide other types of jokes, but you can tell it’s missing something despite living in the same type of zany alien universe.
Trover Saves the Universe is advertised as a VR game, and I’m still not a person willing to invest in VR. Yet, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything playing it without a headset. You don’t really need to dynamically look around very often, especially not with any urgency.
The only thing it might deliver on is making it feel a little more immersive when characters are in your face. I don’t believe it would have resolved any of the few issues I had with the game either, so don’t think this is a game that requires VR as I did at first.
One of the unsung heroes of Trover is the soundtrack. I couldn’t find much information about it, but it seems to be primarily comprised of songs from Chaos Chaos. Their name might not sound familiar, but if you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, you’ve certainly heard many of their songs – including the wonderfully funny Terryfold sung by Roiland himself.
The songs included often fit perfectly into the vibrant and crazy worlds you visit throughout the game. I’m really hoping it gets released sometime soon.
In general, though, this game is enjoyable from start to finish. It has a great deal of polish and a ton of hilarious dialogue within the narrative. It’s even set to get some amount of free DLC down the line. Perhaps when we see what is coming, it will be more justifiable to spend $30 on a game that is relatively short and not particularly replayable.
In fact, one thing that annoys me is that, in trying to replay levels to find more collectibles, it forces you to redo the entire narrative thread rather than just let you explore as though it was the end of the level. That can be frustrating, especially on levels where some characters are extra chatty.
However, the game is a must-buy for Rick and Morty fans and something I’m looking forward to getting back in to with more DLC. For anyone else, it may be a title you wait both for a more justifiable price and to see what extra content is added.
This review is based on a review copy provided by Squanch Games, Inc.
Trover Saves the Universe
Trover Saves the Universe is a healthy serving of Justin Roiland comedy that will appeal to Rick and Morty fans, but may not be popular with those not interested in this sort of content. The hack and slash gameplay and puzzles only serve as a means to get between the entertaining dialogue within the story.
- Very funny dialogue
- Entertaining story
- Decent combat and puzzles
- Some jokes miss and drag on too long
- Actual gameplay is limited