Review: Trover Saves the Universe

Review: Trover Saves the Universe

Trover Saves the Universe is an absurd and surreal 3D platformer created by Rick & Morty creator Justin Roiland and his development studio Squanch Games. It may not be on quite the same level as other comedy based platformers, but it should be a joy to play for fans of Roiland’s previous work.

Title: Trover Saves the Universe
Developer: Squanch Games
Platform:  PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and PC
Game Version: Final
Review Copy: Provided by Publisher
Interface: Controller
Available on the PlayStation Store, Steam, and Epic Games Store

In Trover Saves the Universe, you play as a purple eye hole monster (not to be confused with the fiction cereal or the Eyehole Man in Rick & Morty) named  Trover — well, actually you play as a chairorpian, a type of alien always sitting in a floating chair, who is controlling Trover. As the unnamed chairorpian playing as Trover, your mission is to save your two kidnapped dogs and the universe from a being known as Glorkon, while Trover provides plenty of commentary along the way.

Trover Saves the Universe has most of the usual techniques one would expect from a platformer, with Trover himself able to jump, double jump, hover, and dodge roll, as well as use a basic attack, jump attack, heavy attack. Trover gains these new abilities by obtaining new power babies — the beings in his eyes — from small upgrade stands across the universe. There are also green power babies which not only serve as a collectible throughout the entirety of the game but also increase Trover’s health when enough have been collected.

Separate from the titular purple eyehole monster, the chairorpian can grab objects to move them and solve puzzles as well as throw them at enemies, in addition to moving between telepads with Trover’s help. Being a typical platformer, the combat is simple and doesn’t offer anything new or interesting other than being able to control the two playable characters performing different actions at once, although its great for those who prefer simple controls. Trover also can’t go too far from the chairorpian and he will make sure to remind you if he can’t go any further before you get to a closer telepad.

The small amount of puzzle solving also comparatively lacks challenge, and unfortunately never gets as creative as it could be. With some of the same type of weird humor as Rick & Morty, you might expect puzzle solutions to be more outside of the box, but instead it’s just moving blocks and pressing switches with nothing new to offer. These puzzles don’t add much besides provide a way to pad out playtime due to brevity, and even then most players should be able to figure them out fast enough to not hinder them much.

The platforming element, which is often mixed with puzzle solving, is fine but again doesn’t offer anything all that creative. Other than that, when playing on a regular PlayStation 4 without VR there are a few areas where depth perception feels slightly off and will have you sending Trover off a cliff by accident before you even realize it. There’s also no difficulty select at the moment, although this could change with the planned free DLC updates.

Even with their lack of complexity, the levels are separated from each other well and allows players the freedom to either finish the game in just a weekend, or just go through one level a day due to limited playtime. Due to the simplicity of the levels, you’re not likely to get stuck in one area for a long amount of time as long as you make sure to observe your surroundings and understand how to properly dispose of different types of enemies.

Trover Saves the Universe also involves a decision making element, but rather than changing the story or outcome it really only changes the dialogue and some character interactions, but overall doesn’t affect the outcome of the greater narrative. This seems to be for the more curious players or completionists, as some trophies/achievements are connected to your actions. Since all of your decisions still have you arriving at the same destination by the end, it’s disappointing that there aren’t multiple endings that change based on your choices.

The most notable aspect of Trover Saves the Universe is the humor, which starts off great but over the course of the game it becomes more hit or miss. Trover’s commentary is sometimes great but other times feels excessive and may get annoying for some players while others likely won’t mind it.  which is expected. The banter the enemies have with each other always seemed to be the funniest part and whether I was just watching from afar or trying to solve a puzzle nearby it always gave me at least a slight chuckle. By the end of the game all the mentions of genitals does tend to get rather stale though despite the absurdity of Glorkon’s goals. There’s also swearing in at least every other line of dialogue, which is to be expected, and as such there is also a censored mode that bleeps some swears out but with already being an M rated game and knowing what to expect it just seems like an unnecessary addition.

The visuals are the same style as Rick & Morty , so anyone who doesn’t mind that visual style should be fine with it. The music is nothing all too special and feels like it was thrown in just to have some music in the background, although it’s hard to pay attention to the music when characters are constantly talking most of the time. Even during the moments with little to no dialogue the music in the background was forgettable .

Trover Saves the Universe is a worthwhile experience if you enjoy simple platformers, brief experiences that you can play in either short bursts or longer sessions, or are just a fan of Justin Roiland’s style of humor. It may lack the creativity it could have with its platforming and puzzle solving elements, but hopefully a sequel will be able to improve these lackluster aspects.

Trover Saves the Universe is available on PS VR, PS4, and PC.

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