"Rick and Morty" is one of my favorite shows ever, so I set the bar high for Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. The game didn’t meet my expectations, but if you go in without any preconceived notions, you'll love every minute of it.
Last year, Owlchemy Labs teamed up with Adult Swim Games to bring the crazy antics of Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty to virtual reality. The news was exciting, to say the least. Which better team could there possibly be, other than the creators of Job Simulator, to create a game that brings you into the world of Rick and Morty?
If you haven’t heard of Rick and Morty, first: Welcome back to civilization. How was your stint as a cave dweller? Second: Rick and Morty is a late-night sci-fi cartoon that airs on Adult Swim. The show revolves around Rick Sanchez, an alcoholic genius, and his grandson Morty, who Rick drags around on interdimensional misadventures. The show became a runaway hit thanks to the humor of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon (the creators of the show), and the topics they touch on, such as the notion of unlimited multiple dimensions and that there are unlimited versions of yourself. Roiland is also an avid fan of virtual reality, such that he co-founded the Squanchtendo VR game studio.
Roiland’s company didn’t build the Rick and Morty VR game, though, but he did lend his voice to the two main characters, as he does for the TV series.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is based on the show, but it doesn’t follow the same format. You don’t get to be Rick or Morty. If you expected to go on a wild adventure through space and time as Rick Sanchez’s sidekick, well I’m sorry. You were mistaken. No, you don’t get to be one of the show's protagonists. You get to be Morty’s clone and stay home to do Rick’s chores. That sounds fair, right? Don’t worry; there’s plenty of intrigue waiting for you in Rick’s garage.
Fast Food Freb Has A Tasty Chunk For You
Owlchemy Labs built Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality on the same platform the developer built for Job Simulator. The mechanics of both games are the same, so it stands to reason the exit mechanism would be the same as well. In Job Simulator, you must eat a burrito that you pull out of a briefcase to exit the game.
In Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, you have to call upon Fast Food Freb to bring you a “Tasty Chunk,” which is, from what I can tell, another burrito. Take two bites out of it, and you’ll find yourself back in the lobby of the game, which is the living room of the Smith residence. Fast Food Freb is the first character that you'll encouter in the game. He shows you how to exit before you ever get started.
The start the game, pull a DVD off the shelf and insert it into the DVD player on the TV stand in front of you. The DVD player is Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality's version of the cartridge slot kiosk in from Job Simulator.
Your life as a (disembodied) Morty clone begins in Rick’s Garage. Rick cloned you for one purpose, and one purpose only: He and Morty have interdimensional things to do, whereas you, on the other hand, have the most important work to do. Rick needs you to clean his dirty underwear. It’s what you were put on this Earth for.
A Trip To Purgatory
Once you’re done cleaning Rick’s clothes, he no longer needs you around, so he...doesn’t. Just as he brought you into this world, he takes you out, and you’ll find yourself in purgatory waiting to enter the depths of hell. But that’s okay. Rick must be sending a lot of clones to hell, because purgatory isn’t ready to send you to your final fate. Back to life you come!
Upon your resurrection, the real game begins. Rick welcomes you back and then gives you a couple more tasks to accomplish. Eventually, he’ll lead you to a communicator device that lets him call you from whichever dimension he’s in. With this device, Rick can give you instructions from afar and leave you to explore his garage all alone.
Rick’s garage is filled with peculiar objects and science experiments, including a localized teleportation system that lets you move around within the garage. There are three teleportation beams inside the garage that enable you to move between three of the four corners of the garage. The fourth corner is occupied by a giant white board, so there’s no need to go to the fourth corner. To move from one corner to another, look at the grid you wish to move to, and press the trackpad on your Vive controller. I haven’t tried the game one Rift, but I expect you would press the joystick for the same function. When you press the teleport button, you’ll see a beam hit the ground in the zone you’re looking at. If the beam is green, your landing zone is clear. If the beam is red, there’s an object in the way.
The three grids that you can get to include the laundry area with the washer and dryer; Rick’s work bench, which includes various inventions and objects that will come in handy as you progress through the game; and a storage shelf where Rick keeps a variety of other objects and devices. Rick’s inventions include an object combiner, which merges any two items together to form a new item, and a desktop micro universe battery charger. You’ll also find a portal opening device and a Mr. Meseeks clone on the storage shelf.
Each of Rick’s crazy inventions come into play at one point or another. You’ll have to enter the pocket universe and figure out how to charge a battery, you’ll have to create strange object combinations with the object combiner, and you’ll use the portal machine to travel to places that Rick tells you to go. Mr. Meseeks is also an invaluable resource. Rick “programmed” the Mr. Meseeks clone to mimic everything that you do, which means he can be your extended arms to reach places that you can’t get to by yourself, and he can be a helping hand when you need someone to help you move things beyond your walking space.
You’re Just A Dumb Clone, And Don’t You Forget It
Rick Sanchez isn’t known for a being a cordial gentleman. In fact, you should be prepared for regular abuse from him. Rick is rude and condescending (and as of the premier of season 3, abusive and hurtful) towards his own grandson, Morty, so prepare to get a verbal shellacking on a regular basis. You are just a dumb clone, and Rick won’t let you forget it. Even Morty rags on you from time to time.
It’s up to you to prove them wrong. Rick won’t give you many instructions about the tasks he pushes on you. You usually get a vague description, and sometimes you’ll get a hand-drawn diagram that somewhat explains what to do. Rick will give you subtle hints disguised as insults, though.
The puzzles in Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality aren’t incredibly difficult, but they will get you thinking about the objects and devices in your environment. Several objects that you encounter early in the game don’t come into play until later, so keep a mental inventory of things you discover.
The final puzzle (I think) gave me more trouble than it was worth. What I was supposed to do was obvious, but executing it proved to be nearly impossible. (In the end, I had to make a choice between completing the game or completing this article on time.) I don’t have the coordination, speed, nor the patience to accomplish the goal. I won’t say what the final task is because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say that the lack of tactile feedback when reaching for virtual objects with current generation VR hardware made the final task too difficult for me to bother with. After playing the game for a couple of hours to complete all the tasks tossed my way, I couldn’t be bothered to try the final task again after failing a dozen times in a row. It honestly felt like a futile effort.
With great disappointment and frustration, I pressed the menu button to call upon Fast Food Freb to bring me a Tasty Chunk so I could leave the game.
Not Enough Burps
It’s a real shame that the game ended on such a low note for me, but if I’m honest, it never really hit the high notes I was hoping for. "Rick and Morty" is a great TV show because of the wacky humor and subject matter, but Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality doesn’t tickle my fancy in the same way. It’s fun to rummage through Rick’s garage and play with all his bizarre possessions, but the humor in the game doesn’t live up the show's high bar. Plus, something about seeing Rick in 3D doesn’t feel right, in the same way that the 3D episode of "The Simpsons" didn’t feel right. Maybe 2D characters should remain 2D? I don’t know.
Maybe if Rick had belched a few times as he does constantly on the show, it would have sold the experience for me. Perhaps not.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality isn’t a bad game, but it has big shoes to fill. If you’re a die-hard Rick and Morty fan, the game may not live up to your undoubtedly high expectations. If you’re just looking for a goofy VR experience to pass a few hours, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is a good option. If you liked Job Simulator, you would probably enjoy this game just as much. Just don’t let the kids play this one. The subject matter is meant for a mature audience.