Every once in a while, a game comes along that blows away the competition with groundbreaking features and technical wonders that separate it from every other game in its genre. Trover Saves The Universe doesn’t necessarily do anything like that, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better platformer to have been recently released. Although the game comes directly from the mind of Rick and Morty co-creator, Justin Roiland, and Squanch Games, you don’t need to be a fan of the show to enjoy Trover Saves The Universe for what it is. However, it will definitely add to your level of enjoyment (and overall understanding) if you are a fan of Rick and Morty’s humor and stuttering style of dialogue. As adoring fans eagerly await the return of their favorite duo in season 4, Trover Saves The Universe - available for the PlayStation 4 + PSVR, Xbox One (June 4th), and PC - is a perfect, interactive way to fill the void with its over-the-top humor and near-perfect platforming mechanics.
Trover Saves The Universe, above all else, is a platforming gem. Honestly, it’s hard to recall a better platforming experience in recent memory. Players essentially control two players at once: one being the purple Eye-Hole Monster, Trover, the other being a video game-playing “Chairorpian” who actually controls Trover using a game controller. Although it may seem a little weird, this dynamic makes even more sense considering the game can also be played using the PSVR headset. In fact, the game was initially developed as a PSVR title, but the Squanch Games team discovered that the gameplay worked just as well on a regular flat screen monitor, which was how the game was played for this review.
Players are dropped into action immediately, as a massive, beaked lunatic named Glorkon dognaps the Chairorpian’s two dogs and crams them into his eye holes to harness their life essence in an attempt to destroy the universe. Trover, as unwilling as he is, partners with the Chairorpian and travels to different worlds throughout the universe to put an end to Glorkon’s madness.
First and foremost, Trover Saves The Universe is unsurprisingly not safe for work or suited for younger, impressionable audiences. However, there is a censored way to play the game, which kind of defeats the purpose since most of the dialogue contains plenty of curses and conversations that would make even the most ruthless of foul-minded people blush (and laugh). The stuttering, bumbling way that Roiland voices most of the characters gives Trover Saves The Universe the majority of its charm. More often than not, the conversations were so outlandish and hilarious that I stopped whatever I was supposed to be doing to listen to the ridiculous banter taking place between characters. This may have extended my playthrough time, but I rarely regretted stopping to take in the hilarity that each conversation had to offer. Players are also given yes-no choices within some of the conversations, most of which don’t have a major impact on the outcome of the story.
Trover Saves The Universe essentially has two methods of moving throughout each level. Trover is able to battle, run, and jump around each level unrestricted, whereas the Chairorpian is limited to moving from one waypoint to the next and moving up and down to get different vantage points to help Trover move forward safely. Initially, the control scheme seemed like it was going to be a little wonky and cumbersome, but it quickly became second-nature and fluid. It helps that the Chairorpian can’t be targeted or hurt by enemies in this regard, which Trover is sure to point out later in the game.
The game’s story is just as crazy as you might expect and definitely feels like it could be a part of the same universe as Rick and Morty, with characters that you’ll love (and love to hate). Mr. Popup and Doopy Dooper provide Trover Saves The Universe with the ever-important annoying NPC (we’re looking at you, Navi), while The Abstainers and Trover’s boss humorously provide uninspired belief in Trover and the Chairorpian. Enemies include smaller, chicken nugget-shaped clones of the main baddie, Glorkon, as well as other level-based, phallic-looking creatures.
Level designs range in scale, with most being reminiscent of those in other great three-dimensional platforming games, such as Ratchet & Clank. Other levels are single room areas in which players never leave the sanctity of their spaceship. It is in these rooms where the game’s dialogue is the primary focus, which is a nice breakup in the action and keeps the game from being too redundant in its gameplay.
The puzzles in Trover Saves The Universe require little thought, but are just as satisfying as the rest of the gameplay. Don’t worry, though. The focus on puzzles is equally as minimalistic in the game, which is something that the self-aware Trover touches on whenever a puzzle is encountered. One of the more intricate challenges is the collection of 130 “Power Babies” that are scattered throughout the game’s levels. Upon returning to the spaceship at the end of the levels, Power Babies are deposited into a toilet-like device, which stores the creatures and gives Trover additional hit points. The nice thing about this challenge is that it can be revisited after completing the game, should you miss any Power Babies along the way. Trover promises to deliver a pretty great reward for finding all of the Power Babies, which we will leave unspoiled.
Trover Saves The Universe doesn’t necessarily add anything new to the platformer genre; it just perfects it, especially with its use with the PSVR headset. It’s difficult to think up anything that the game is missing, but Squanch Games has already committed to providing plenty of free DLC in the future. The humor, visuals, and overall platforming control scheme make Trover Saves The Universe a must-play for fans of the genre, and is more than enough to tide over Rick and Morty fans until season 4 comes out in November.
5 out of 5 stars
A copy of Trover Saves The Universe was purchased by The Gamer for this review. The game is available now for the PlayStation 4 + PSVR, Xbox One, and PC.