This year EGX boasted the best lineup of games the trade show has seen in its 10-year history. The heavy hitters were out in force to promote their games and the likes of Assassins Creed origins, Far Cry 5 and Mario Oddysy were wowing attendees, so why then is my game of show a small VR title from nDreams?
Pure Unadulterated Fun that’s why. I’ve played quite a few VR titles now and whilst my opinion on that particular genre is becoming more and more positive as time goes by I’m still not convinced it will be anything other than a passing curiosity. Many VR titles try too hard and deliver too little in my experience. Not so with Shooty Fruity, the simplistic concept of scanning groceries whilst shooting rampaging fruit is so perfectly realized that it takes mere seconds for you to be completely immersed in the colourful world.
I played using
The Vive The Oculus Rift and the Oculus controllers which were ideally suited for the game. To pick something up you just moved your hands and the on-screen hands would follow, then when you were above the item you wanted to grab, a purple outline appears indicated that squeezing the buttons on the side of the controller would pick that item up. It may not sound it, but these actions felt natural enough to give you the feeling that you were actually interacting with the world rather than just pressing a button. It works the same with the guns, you have to squeeze the controller to maintain a grip on the gun and use the triggers to fire, once the gun is empty you can throw it away by flicking your hands and letting go of the side buttons.
It’s incredibly intuitive and fluid that you can throw a gun in the air and catch it with your other hand almost as well as you could in real life. In fact, I managed to land on the daily leaderboard on my first try and set a record for the leaderboard on my second try. The gripping mechanic also translates well to the Grocery scanning portion of the game, picking items up from the conveyor, scanning the barcode and putting it in the bagging area increases your score and unlocks better guns. I saw people neglecting to do the groceries whilst shooting and this resulted in them getting the more basic weapons and lower scores overall. This is absolutely a Multitasking game and finding the right balance between your two tasks is what gives the game a frantic feel to it. By the end of my Demo, the fruit was coming fast and there was so much happening on screen it was almost overwhelming.
The Shooting and Gunplay of Shooty Fruity is great, the guns come in hanging on a line above the conveyer belt and you have to reach up and grab them, I collected a load and set them to one side for the later more hectic sections of the game but you do get enough to keep you going. The different types of weapons available also help keep the gunplay satisfying and varied. Each gun feels and behaves differently to the last. It’s incredibly satisfying to have a shotgun in one hand and an SMG in the other and let loose. The accuracy is pretty good too as most of the time I felt my bullets hit where I was aiming and the few that missed were likely down to my poor aim rather than the game itself. Hitting the long shot down the end of the aisle with your right hand and scanning groceries with your left makes you feel like a total bad ass which is pretty much all I want from Virtual Reality.
I do find myself wondering how long the game will hold my attention if I was playing at home and had more time with it. The Demo never hinted that there may be anything beyond what I played and promotional materials seem to indicate this will be the only level but I guess we shall have to wait and see when it releases later this year.
Shooty Fruity is coming to The Oculus Rift, PSVR and The Vive late 2017