Of the first wave of VR games, Owl Labs’ Job Simulator is a standout. The tongue-in-cheek game set in a future where humans have all been replaced by robots manages to make mundane things like office work and being a convenience store clerk un, by injecting them with spades of humour and equal lashing of absurdity.
The other thing you’ll find in abundance on VR platforms? Wave-based shooters. Fruity Shooty, a new game from developer nDreams takes both of those, and serves up a delicious fruit salad. Wearing its job simulator inspiration on its sleeve, Fruity Shooty is a whimsical game that’ll put your multitasking abilities to the test.
The premise is pretty simple. You’re an employee at a supermarket, and it’s your job (at least initially), to scan items at a till, putting them into the right conveyor lanes. Mundane stuff – and the sort of job that earns a respectable, but minimum wage. This isn’t any ordinary mart though. While you’re doing this, a second conveyor chugs along overhead, loaded with guns. That’s not because this is a store in central Johannesburg, but rather because mutant fruit keeps attacking.
Giant apples, limes, cherries, grapes and other fruits and berries – deciduous and tropical in nature – keep attacking, and it’s your job to mow them down, all while continuing to scan grocery items. While apples and oranges are content to bounce along the aisles as they make their way towards you, cherries fly in like whirlybirds, and bunches of grapes explode like cluster bombs. Watermelons rolling in like juicy juggernauts, and bananas…well, they’re just like their namesake.
Thankfully, there’s an awful lot of weaponry available to reduce the attacking hordes of horticulture to vegetarian viscera. In the staffroom, players are able to cash in the juice they earn from fluidising fruit to buy new weapons – which range from little pistols, to shotguns, all the way to flak cannons and explosives. There are also a few power-ups to help you in your quest to pulverize produce.
Show off your shooting prowess, and you may even be up for a promotion – moving from checkout to food preparation, where the multi-tasking becomes even more manic. Like the best arcade games, it’s all about chasing score and not running out of lives – and that’s precisely what you’ll be doing here. Of course there’s a little more to it, like deciding on which loadout to use. There are also three challenges per level, which have you trying to maintain a scoring streak, get a certain number of kills within a time limit, or reach a certain score. Unfortunately, it uses the Angry Birds style of progressions, where the number of stars you get from completing those challenges unlock the next levels. It means that you may replay stages a few more times than you may want to progress.
A shooting game can only be fun in VR if you can actually shoot things, and I’m happy to say that I experienced no real tracking issues. It really is simple stuff, but as the tasks become harder and the waves of ferocious fruits more numerous, Shooty Fruity edges closer to an experience akin to juggling cats. It’s tense, exciting, and silly – and some of the most fun I’ve had with VR this year.
Last Updated: December 19, 2017