Trover Saves the Universe is fantastic. I say that as a Rick and Morty fan, but it’s becoming more apparent that I’m just a huge Justin Roiland fan; nearly everything that comes out of his head is just my type of humour. It can be a bit of an acquired taste, but if you dig it, then this game is certainly for you.
The game’s description really tells you exactly what you’re in for. “Your dogs have been dognapped by a beaked lunatic named Glorkon who stuffed them into his eye holes and is using their life essence to destroy the universe. You’re partnered with Trover, a little purple eye-hole monster who isn’t a huge fan of working or being put in the position of having to save the universe. He’s also not that big a fan of you quite frankly, and neither am I. (Jk, you’re great) Only you and Trover can save everything in this bizarre comedy adventure.”
You don’t play as Trover, but rather a creature called a Chairorpean: a species that worship chairs, sitting in one all the time and moving it up and down to get a better view of your surroundings. You control Trover (a sword-wielding eye hole monster) through a few different realms, hack n’ slashing through hilarious enemies in order to save the world from destruction at the hands of the evil Glorkon.
So in essence, you – from a chair in the sky – control a purple eye hole monster that wields a lightsaber and gets all of his powers from green power babies that he shoves into his eye holes. I mean, it sounds like the dumbest thing ever. But it works because the game knows how ridiculous it is and feeds off it. It’s so stupid. So wonderfully, enjoyably stupid.
Aside from being a great, often challenging platformer, the game is completely self-aware; it doesn’t care about itself and often references how dumb some of the things you’re doing are. The enemies blurt out funny things when they die (“Philadelphia is my favourite movie!” or just simply “F*$% You!”), they have long, drawn-out conversations about their own existence, with one referencing a doctors visit and his partner consoling him and telling him to not worry and that things will turn out ok. Then they both turn around and yell at you for standing there and eavesdropping on their “personal” conversation.
You can kill most NPC’s, which often has hilarious consequences – at one point I was getting information from “Bathtub Guy”, and just decided to push his TV into the tub. He was electrocuted and promptly died. Trover screamed at me, asking what was wrong with me, and why on earth I killed an innocent person. He told me that I really screwed things up and had no choice but to restart the level because I killed the only guy with the info necessary to proceed. It’s this kind of wall-breaking stuff that truly makes Trover a pleasure to play. You never know what is going to happen as a result of your actions.
Trover Saves the Universe is produced by Roiland’s Squanch Games, which is a small team founded in 2016 with the sole objective to “create incredible immersive experiences and games that people love, and they want to play themselves.” While the game is relatively short – which is standard for VR-based games – you’ll get about 7-8 hours from it, more if you’re looking to get all of the collectables. You can play it either in VR or on a normal screen, as the experience is the same on both.
Squanch Games has stated that DLC will be free and come out in waves, which is great news for fans of the game looking for more Trover. It’s a refreshing take to see a game with an already full and complete story get free DLC, when a lot of game are segmenting their stories into paid DLC. Kudos to Squanch for that.
Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a hilarious way to spend a few hours, Trover Saves the Universe is a great way to do it. It’s funny, challenging and well executed. The voice acting is top-notch, and the self-aware nature of the game really makes it engaging. Do yourself a favour and try it!
Have you played it? Let us know in the comments what you thought!