Let’s be honest, Job Simulator tricked us. With its combination of immersion and humor, Owlchemy Labs somehow made us believe that we enjoyed doing mundane tasks in an office environment. The development didn’t just end up with a solid addition to the VR ecosystem: Job Simulator has become the unofficial VR poster child. It’s one of the VR market’s best selling games and dominated downloads on PSVR for all of 2016 — but what if the job in Job Simulation was inherently more interesting? What if the job was being a cloned assistant to Rick Sanchez, the most brilliant scientist of the multiple universes of Rick and Morty? Does the show’s raunchy and unhinged humor translate?
Rick and Morty, for those unfamiliar, is a hysterical cartoon on Adult Swim that sees its two lead characters go on increasingly ridiculous adventures with each new episode. From a theme park inside a dying hobo to a perfect planet led by Rick’s hive mind ex-partner, no crazy situation is out of bounds for this series. Titular character Rick utilizes a plethora of tools during his journey and that’s where Virtual Rick-Ality comes into play. You play as a clone of his grandson Morty and are tasked with assisting the two of them from Rick’s garage while they embark on an expedition.
Unlike Job Simulator, the tools around you will be largely unfamiliar unless you’re a fan of the show — such as the hilarious, wobbly, and uncomfortable-looking plumbus. Thankfully you’re instructed on how to use a majority of them with voice-work from the cartoon’s co-creator, Justin Roiland, the same actor that voices both lead characters. Sound design throughout the game is well done but it is Justin’s involvement that really brings it all together. The two characters will occasionally join you in the garage but, as they travel, you’re also given a wrist watch that you hold up to your face in order to contact Rick or answer a call from him. There’s rarely a moment without Rick’s demeaning, patronizing, and hilarious banter.
Visually it accurately translates the design of the cartoon, albeit with a slight dull to a lot of the color. Animations for the NPCs are well done, specifically so considering you’ll interact with them occasionally. When you do, it doesn’t feel unnatural except for one moment toward the end of the main plot that involves you breaking up a fight. Stopping the fight itself results in a pretty jarring break in the action but the moment after features a hilarious moment where two characters argue who you should shoot.
When it comes to gameplay, the garage has three areas you can teleport to and maneuver around in room-scale. The game’s structure gives you a sandbox area to run wild in while also introducing you to typical VR mini-games like a timed puzzle to charge batteries or a wave shooter with twin blasters. It is with those additional games that Virtual Rick-Ality hits its only true speed bump: a lack of depth. The sandbox segment has plenty of content but the mini-games are shallow. For example, the battery charging task only has two variations to it and, when you’re given the twin blasters for your last stand on an alien planet, all of the enemies are the exact same models.
Otherwise, Virtual Rick-Ality is a solid evolution of Owlchemy’s previous creation. My favorite part of the game is the Mr. Youseeks ball which you throw out to summon your own assistant that mirrors your movement. You can throw multiple balls and they add versatility to your tasks, allowing you to throw or hand them different objects. You can also act outside of the game’s allowed space with them, but there sadly aren’t a lot of things that take more advantage of that particular ability.
Once you overcome the game’s ultimate task, which is only relayed to you in hilarious fashion right at the end and brings one of your first tasks full circle, the game opens up to free play. You can seek out multiple Easter eggs within the game like cassette tapes or find a way to interact with Morty’s father Jerry. The tasks that brought you to the game’s conclusion also have additional challenges, adding a bit of replay value. I completed the game in about 2 ½ hours and the additional content adds on roughly 45 minutes to an hour.
There’s very smart design through and through. There’s a lot can happen in the garage or the spaces you travel to via portal and you’ll almost certainly lose or destroy one of the crucial items to advance one of the mini-games or the story itself by accident. There were even a couple moments when objects inexplicably flew across the garage or simply disappeared, but these were infrequent happenings. Thankfully there’s a computer in the garage that allows you to order items you’ve come across and they’ll be instantly delivered to you.
The humor is weaved throughout as well and, even when you die and have to make a decision to be brought back to life, you’ll be letting out a few guttural laughs.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality is a natural evolution of Owlchemy’s “simulated jobs” specialization. The Rick and Morty license enhances the humor that was prevalent throughout Job Simulator and there are some welcome evolutions of Owlchemy’s style, like the addition of a plot and NPC interaction, that you’ll wish were expanded upon a bit more. There’s never a moment that felt uncomfortable or unnatural, even as you step through portals into new spaces. With all eyes on Owlchemy after the success of Job Simulator., the team executed in a big way and will continue forward as one of the premier developers of VR games.
You can download Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality starting today on Steam for both Rift with Touch and Vive and Oculus Home for Rift with Touch. A roomscale playspace of at least 2m x 1.5m is required. Read our Game Review Guidelines for more information on how we arrived at this score.