The future is bright, clean, Virtual, and nearly entirely automated. I am one of the few humans able to find actual employment with a company, Activitude, that promotes it's use of Artisinal Humans as companions to their AI clients. With clients like a pinwheel who needs help with it's garden, and a stick of butter that wants to be covered in toast. The demands are ridiculous, and occasionally impossible, and that's just the start of your adventures with Activitude.
Virtual Virtual Reality is available on Daydream
The future is clean and white
The graphics of Virtual Virtual Reality are bright and colorful, without being ridiculously over the top. Part of the reason for this is that even while within the game, you are seeing a variety of different environments where your AI overlords live. The variety is actually pretty awesome, since you can jump from a sparse white space where you live, to a garden with a greenhouse, to a track for a tumbleweed, and plenty more to boot.
The developers have a great grasp on letting you feel out the environment of different locations. They tend towards lots of bright colors in varying shades when you are dealing with the AI clients, and darker palettes of shadows when you are seeing behind the scenes of what your trainer wants you to see. At no point was it difficult to see what was going on, and the environments had a sharp clean look to them.
Things are not what they seem
When you first get started, your computer Trainer, Chaz will help you get acquainted with things. This includes how to move around via teleportation, how to interact with the world, and how things work here at Activitude. The first few things are pretty normal, aside from the point where Chaz decides that my new name will be Bee. Well, that and the fact that he treats me like a very smart puppy. It's not ideal, lemme tell ya. After we go over the basics, Chaz has me trying on different AI headsets, and that's where things get really weird.
First I'm up sky high, next I find myself in a greenhouse, third deep underwater. As Chaz explains, each AI client has their own virtual reality living space. I move between the clients spaces by putting on, or taking off VR headsets within the game. It's kind of weird and trippy to be very honest. At Chaz's insistence I put on another headset and this time I'm transported to a strange room that has walls made of what look like spikes. A disembodied voice tells me it is a member of the Human union, and that they are here to help me. This room swerves into a white spike-walled room, and then something that looks like I'm next to a highway at night. A phone rings and I reach for it,
Each AI client wil rate your service, and give you a written review. It's yelp for Artisinal Human companions.
My first job is literally to toast pieces of bread, and then place them onto a sentient stick of butter. I'm so serious, it's not even funny. Things start off well, but go quickly downhill. Before I know it there are 32 different toasters all with toast that I am supposed to stick to this sentient butter stick, without burning any of them. Needless to say, I don't get a good rating and things don't go well. Each AI client will rate your service, along with a written review. Basically they're leave yelp reviews on the human companions sent to work for them.
After a few more missions, I hear from the Human Union again. They have a plan to fight back against our AI supervisors, and there is definitely something hinky going on behind the scenes. Chaz seems to be malfunctioning, the clients are dysfunctional, and now the Human Union is giving me a way to fight back by trying to find a way to get to Human Resources. Being an Artisinal Human is really just not what it is cracked up to be, and all of this is in the first 40 minutes of playing.
Simple and absurd
The gameplay mechanics in Virtual Virtual Reality are pretty simple overall. You teleport around using the app button on your remote, and it's a pretty simple system that works well. Most of your interaction is built around picking up and manipulating objects using the Daydream remote, and for the most part the system works really well. I ran into a few frustrating moments, but it was clear those were on purpose from the game. After all a human isn't going to work quite up to the standards of a computer right off of the bat.
This is definitely a game that knows how ridiculous it is, and plays on that. It works out really well too, whether you're taking orders from a gardening pinwheel, or a tumbleweed that wants you to ensure it doesn't fall off of a conveyor belt. The controls are always fairly simple, but varied enough that you stay involved in what's going on. It's also very clear by the varying types of movements, that this was a game designed to be played on Daydream, and the way they go about incorporating the remote extremely well.
The game will continually remind you that you are wearing a headset, because within the realm of the game you are constantly putting on and taking off varying headsets. It can be a little bit confusing, and definitely kind of trippy at times, but it's a ton of fun.
If you enjoy games that poke fun at themselves, tongue in cheek humor, and absolute absurdity, then Virtual Virtual Reality should definitely be on your list. It combines absurdity with a dark story in between the cracks of a flawed system, and does so in a way that pulls you in helplessly. It's a fun, mostly light hearted game that is highly entertaining, with an interesting and engaging story.
- Absurd, fun, and hilarious
- Interesting premise and story
- Variety of missions and AI clients
- Getting used to moving between headsets in game can be trippy
- Some clients demand downright impossible tasks