RADtv is like a Warioware game that would make even Nintendo’s onion-breathed anti-hero squeamish. Spin the wheel on this frantic hot-seat multiplayer game and you could be doing anything from roughing up prison inmates to throwing shurikens and hoping to avoid bystanders. It’s morally questionable, occasionally uncomfortable and all the more sadistically enjoyable for it. That is while it lasts.
Ruffian Games’ surreal party game isn’t afraid to exploit VR. It’s not in itself malicious, but it does find hilarity in accidentally or absurdly malicious acts. Not every one of its 25 minigames is quite so morbid, but the biggest laughs come from accidentally shooting onlookers or letting your throwing star slip a little too early. It’s a big part of what makes RADtv a fun few hours to spend with friends, even if that’s all you’ll get out of it.
Up to six players can swap out the headset between quickfire rounds with oddball objectives. Some are a little more becoming, like trying to match up cubes with patterns on a wall or hitting a drumset as quickly as possible. They’re often over just as soon as they’ve started and leave you out of breath and wondering what just happened. More importantly, they’ve all got engaging VR interactions at their heart, be it simple stuff like cramming burgers into your mouth or more finicky tasks like popping champagne bottles with a samurai sword.
Rounds are erratic and unnerving, a tone that’s hammered home by the grotesquely deformed NPCs. In fact, RADtv’s absurdist presentation as a whole really pops in VR, especially the stomach-churning little extras like the sight of your bones on your dismembered arms or the flys that hover around you in the menu. There’s some great easter eggs in there too for those that follow VR closely.
The vast majority of the games are great in short bursts, though some like a using a fishing rod to fetch zombie parts feel a little too rushed if you haven’t got the chance to try them yet. Whoever goes first in your party will likely be at a disadvantage as they have to work out how to play, though the game’s largely intuitive.
It’s just a shame, then, that there isn’t that much of if. You’ll see through each of RADtv’s minigames over the course of one or two rounds and, once the manic turns into the manageable, it’s not quite as funny. There are single-player challenges to complete but this is a multiplayer game at its heart. It’s at its best when it’s putting you on the spot and demanding you do something entirely unexpected without giving you the time for hesitation. With such a limited number of games, that appeal diminishes pretty quickly.
Still, treated like a board game you occasionally unearth for family game night, RATtv is a joyfully upbeat party game. After a few rounds of Beat Saber and a gander through Google Earth, it’s a fine choice for some multiplayer mayhem at a VR gathering. It’s in undeniable need of more content, but what’s here already is a riot. Just don’t actually play it with your family.