Shooty Fruity Review (HTC Vive)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
Wave base shooters are one of the most developed games on the VR platform. With many companies trying to bring something new with it – some are successful in doing so and some not so much. Enter the arena nDreams and Shooty Fruity, the question is does it pack a punch or is it just plain mouldy?
As with most wave based shooters the game doesn’t really come with a story. You are an employee at a supermarket, you task though is not a simple one – you need to carry out your job with the catch you are being attacked by fruit. Meaning as well as your employee duties you have to defend yourself.
This is where the different take on the wave based shooter comes into play. You take up jobs within the supermarket from general checkout clerk to sorting food for the food court. You may be thinking can I not just ignore these tasks and take on the fruit, the answer to that is no. The reason being is carrying out these tasks unlocks your better weapons (will cover weapons soon) and power ups for use, and without these the stages will become a lot more difficult. So, you will need to keep scanning and sorting those products, while at the same time keeping an eye on and taking out the fruit.
Now to the weapons… You start with a standard pistol, which sounds like a pellet gun more than anything. One aspect of the scoring is Juice (given for shooting the fruit). You are then able to use this Juice to purchase other weapons in the staff room from the vending machine. As you take a job (level) from the job board, you then get to put these cards in to choose your loadout for the next level. As mentioned previously doing your job will unlock the guns in your loadout while playing the level, and provides power-ups for your weapons, like explosive rounds. Your weapons come across the front of you on hooks above the work station, and when the ammo is spent they break apart, meaning you need to drop them and grab another as it passes. As the fruit becomes larger in numbers and sizes these can make the game very hectic – as you start to panic between swapping out spent guns and scanning/organising items.
To make the gameplay more intense you are given the possibility to achieve three stars on each level. This is made intense by the weapons in the vending machine and your next jobs being locked behind these stars. Meaning you really need to check out the tasks at the beginning of each level. This information is provided on the loading screen, and you can also get this information on a form that prints near the checkout before the level starts – meaning if you miss it can also check it again.
Taking into account star system for unlocking weapons/jobs, and that one star is always being related to your job as the employee, the team at nDreams have made sure every aspect of Shooty Fruity is important. As you get later into the levels and the larger and different types of fruit come into play, the game really does become fast paced, and requires you to make your choices of weapons/tactics important.
The presentation of Shooty Fruity is very impressive, every part of the supermarket and fruit is all really sharp and clear. Even the shelves in the distance are pretty clear and they have not relied on the distance blur many other games do. I also was impressed when you play the late shift that the neon lighting really does show and shine. But, what impressed me most about the visuals is the fruit, from the fun but sinister cartoon looks to the way they explode on death. Looking further at the explosive deaths of the fruits, they leave their juices all over the place. Killing them close to the counter will result in your work station and you getting in a mess – so if you look at your hands you will have the death juice all over them. They then finish of the visuals with a stong bold and easy to read text that shows the score for killing the fruit.
Add to these visuals the sounds of the game and it really feels like your a worker in the supermarket. From the general noises from the beeping of the checkout to the announcements over the shop tannoy. Ok, these announcements over the tannoy is what I assume is your boss berating you about the job you are doing – letting you know you should not be shooting the displays and so on. Finally to go with the fruits fun cartoon design, you have their grunts and noises to make them that more enjoyable to kill.
Given the great job with the sharpness of the visuals and use of the sound, Shooty Fruity really drags you in with its immersion. Be it the change of the lighting and setting when you work the night shift, or the juice explosions covering the store and sometimes you. The team at nDreams have made sure you will feel like you are dragged into this supermarket, and the tasks at hand.
The game is played using the Tracked Motion Controllers, as you come to expect with shooters in VR. Each controller represents the hand the controller is held in. One thing I love that nDreams have done it kept the control scheme really simple, meaning you aren’t thinking too much about the controls and enjoyed the intense nature of the game. You are only going to be using the side grip buttons to grab your guns, and items for jobs in the supermarket and releasing them pressing the again. The only other buttons are the triggers used to fire the weapons. A control system that is so simple, but effective makes sure you are concentrating on and enjoying the gameplay, and in turn not loosing any the immersion in the game. Shooty Fruity is also playable from a standing or sitting position given your characters static position, and due to this you will not encounter and discomfort playing the game.
Shooty Fruity brings with it 24 levels, all locked behind the aforementioned star based unlock system. Unlocking all the levels is going to take you a decent amount of time, but is more down to your skills as well. But given the wide range of weapons available you will find yourself going back to the levels even when you have achieved the three star ratings, to try to beat your scores. With the use of a different loadout making the levels feel unique again. Making Shoot Fruity come with a long and always enjoyable play time. The possibilities in how you approach a level are huge and you can even make them as difficult as you like – just give yourself a challenging loadout.
Shooty Fruity hits the wave based shooter genre with something new, making you not only shoot but also work. Mixing the menial tasks of a supermarket worker with defending yourself from a barrage of incoming fruit using guns – makes for an intense, fast paced and enjoyable game. Bringing with it a large amount of weapons with a limited loadout space making how you approach each level down to you. Giving you many reasons to go back, and if your feeling confident make the game as difficult as you choose. It’s hard not to recommend this wave based shooter, as it really brings a fresh take on the over-populated genre on the VR platform.
Also Available on Oculus Rift, Playstation VR