Trover Saves the Universe is a title that many of us have been waiting for since its initial announcement back in 2017. We got our hands on an early build of this game last year at GDC and were highly impressed by what we saw. At E3 2018, we were able to play the full version of Trover Saves the Universe and can say that it’s just as good as we had hoped. This 2D platformer rogue-lite has you playing as a character named simply “Puppet,” who is accompanied by his dog-like creature known only as “Totem.” The two characters are stuck in a multi-dimensional universe and are looking to escape.
You navigate your way through each randomly generated room in order to reach the boss of each area so that you can continue moving forward. This is not an easy task as these various bosses will dish out a lot of damage if you don’t know how to avoid taking hits. Luckily if you do die, it’s very quick and painless to just start over from the same checkpoint that you fell at. As long as you still have health left then there isn’t anything that really separates death from just retrying after being hit once or twice either
Boss battles are tough but never feel unfair – one misstep could spell serious trouble though! The gameplay mostly consists of solving puzzles, using your “Totem” to deal damage to foes while you jump around dodging projectiles, and running for your life – Trover Saves the Universe is not an easy game. Luckily each version of the Puppet have a different set of abilities so while one may be strong in melee combat, another will be better at jumping across gaps or avoiding attacks. This means that while you might get stuck on one area with one character, it may become much easier when you try with someone else instead.
The world that you’re exploring is filled with all sorts of parody-themed areas modelled after various things including Hollywood blockbusters like Jurassic World (seen above) and Netflix shows like Stranger Things. These humorous references are found everywhere in this game and are some of the main highlights that keeps you hooked for the entire duration.
The great thing about this game is just how much content has been packed into it. Not only do you have several different characters to play as each with their own unique abilities, but Trover Saves the Universe also features over 100 different upgrades to collect and purchase. You can spend your hard-earned coins on anything from new weapons for your “Totem” to new special abilities for yourself. The more you play, the more options you will be given in order to make things easier or harder depending on what you feel like doing at any one time.
An upgrade station – coins are used here to unlock various bonuses There’s also a great deal of replayability to this title as well. Aside from the different Vicious Pits arenas that you can play in, Trover Saves the Universe also features a ton of secrets that’ll keep players occupied for several hours after beating each level the first time around. These secrets are centered mostly around multiple Easter eggs hidden throughout various areas – some were simple little nods to other video games while others were much more detailed and involved.
There’s even an option where you can swap between VR mode or non-VR mode anytime during gameplay if you so feel like it. The VR experience itself is pretty standard – move your head around to look around while using either hand controllers or the Oculus remote to interact with objects and navigate menus. While these mechanics are fine, I would have preferred something a bit more precise for this type of game.
There are some minor drawbacks to Trover Saves the Universe, though most are only present when you’re using Oculus Quest. The biggest issue that I had was with the teleportation system that this game uses – it’s very imprecise and slow, leading to some unnecessary frustration at times due to getting “lost” on where exactly I needed to go.
I also found that there were times where both my and Totems’ movements would get stuck on invisible walls or objects in some areas which led me to move around various parts of each room several times before finally figuring out what the problem was. Normally these issues are easy enough to solve, but they can still be annoying after a while.
The final negative thing to mention was the “Game Save” system – whenever you want to quit playing Trover Saves the Universe, you have to do so from within VR. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue except for one thing: there’s no way to back up your progress if anything should happen! Say you’re halfway through a level and something bad happens as your controller dies or your headset gets bumped somehow, you better pray that nothing happens because there is no way to go back and pick up right where you left off!
As mentioned before, this game has been available since May 31 st as a part of PSVR’s free monthly title program. Being able to play Trover Saves the Universe on the Quest is definitely an improvement overplaying it with PSVR, though not quite perfect. It’s still totally playable but you’ll experience some slight issues due to the teleportation system featured here – this works fine for games like Moss where precision isn’t needed, but it doesn’t work well with Trover Saves the Universe.
While most of my time was spent using two hands to control both myself and Trover simultaneously in PSVR, I found that most of my deaths came from missing objects or attacking enemies at the wrong angle simply because I had no sense of depth perception. This made things feel a tad clunky during my playthrough when compared to the smooth controls featured on PSVR.
Overall, if you enjoyed what you saw when Trover Saves the Universe came out back in May, you’ll love this game. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it is still a very enjoyable experience that will have players laughing for hours on end.