It’s rare for me to find a game that genuinely makes me laugh. I’ve never really been the type of person that likes to watch comedy movies on my own as I prefer to treat laughter as a social experience. I also spend the vast majority of my time gaming alone — especially in VR. So color me skeptical when faced with the prospect of Trover Saves the Universe from Squanch Games: a comedy-focused game with VR support.
It’s also crafted from the mind of Justin Roiland, co-creator of Rick and Morty, if that tells you anything about the tone. But after having played Accounting+, Rick and Morty VR, and non-VR comedy games like South Park: The Stick of Truth, I had hope. And thankfully Trover delivers where it needs to most.
In Trover Saves the Universe you actually don’t technically control the titular hero but are instead a chairopian — a being that is restricted to sitting in a chair at all times. Using creepy little squishy baby blob creatures in his eye sockets, Trover turns over control of his body to you by way of a trusty game pad, which lays the foundation for plenty of fourth-wall breaking humor.
What follows is a fairly straightforward action adventure game, but if you enjoy Roiland’s style of humor then this is anything but ordinary. Characters will just ramble on and on for minutes on end if left unattended and it’s often more important to just stop and listen to dialog than it is to actually try and progress in the story. It feels like getting sucked into Roiland’s mind which is equal parts hilarious ad terrifying.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Rick and Morty then the character voices in Trover Saves the Universe should sound immediately familiar. It’s hard to shake that feeling that this is somehow connected to the wildly successful cartoon series, but it’s actually just a case of Roiland leaning into his iconic style and brand more than anything.
Although, if you’re not a fan of those nasally sounding characters and frequent cursing then this probably isn’t for you. But if you enjoyed Accounting+ and think the trailers linked here on this page are funny then you’re in for a good time.
From a gameplay perspective Trover Saves the Universe is reminiscent of 3D platforming action adventure games from a bygone era such as Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, or Spyro the Dragon. You spend much of your time exploring environments, fighting off enemies, and listening to Trover make impatiently snide remarks. Using nodes spread across stages you teleport your chair around to gain new perspective on environments and control Trover from there. He’s got a nifty beam sword and as you progress you’ll unlock new powers for both him and yourself.
I hate when a third-person VR game doesn’t explain your perspective so luckily that’s the entire premise that Trover’s built around as one giant self-referential parody. If it weren’t for the jokes and silly worlds then Trover would be an aggressively mediocre action adventure title, but its creativity helps tilt the scales in its favor.
Trover Saves The Universe is without a doubt one of the funniest games I’ve ever played. It honestly had my side hurting from all the laughter. Despite some generic core gameplay, repetition, and an overall grating comedic tone that isn’t for everyone, Trover gets a lot right. The bottom line is that if you liked games such as Lucky’s Tale and Astro Bot and also appreciate Justin Roiland’s style of vulgar fourth-wall breaking comedy, then this is a match made in third-person action-adventure heaven.
Trover Saves the Universe will cost $29.99 and is coming to PS4 with optional PSVR support on May 31 and then releases on June 4 for PC with optional VR support. Read our Game Review Guidelines for more information on how we arrived at this score.