Trover Saves the Universe shouldn’t be as good as it is. It’s a fairly standard action platformer and yet it feels fresh and is fucking hilarious.
PAX East saw Squanch Games bringing Trover Saves the Universe along to play. Plus a panel featuring Justin Roiland, co creator of Rick & Morty, hosting a series of guests to talk about comedy in games. Plus a release date reveal trailer!
What the hell is Trover Saves the Universe?
At its heart is a fairly simple action adventure game. Hit things, find things, explore, use items, pull levers, find power babies…
This is where it gets weird, and very funny, folks.
This is Glorkon. He’s stolen your dogs and put them in his eye-holes and is drawing ultimate power from them, in order to destroy the universe. Glorkon is a dick.
Now everyone hates you.
It’s up to you, accompanied by Trover, to stop Glorkon, his minions (who are all exact clones of him), and save the universe.
EARLY GAMEPLAY SPOILERS
The game opens with you, a Chairorpian (sp?), a race that has evolved to exclusively sit in chairs, sat in their home watching cable tv in first person.
Click on items to interact with them, so far so VR adventure… including your TV – a soap opera appears to be playing where a relationship is falling apart due to one character steadfastly refusing to rotate their chair.
It’s very Interdimensional Cable – the whole game is very interdimensional cable with every interaction steeped in Roiland’s humour, and the swearing as you get taught how to control your player character sets you up for what’s to come.
If you don’t like the Rick & Morty style of humour you probably aren’t going to enjoy Trover.
After interacting with enough objects, listening to some voicemails, and doing enough to tell the game that you know how to control the damn thing, and a bang at your door.
Hit the door open button to finally meet the Trover, the eye-hole monster of the title.
Here’s where Trover Saves the Universe does things a bit differently. You control both yourself in the first person and Trover in the third person – you’re the camera, Trover’s the avatar.
This step away from the vomit inducing first person adventuring of old isn’t brand spanking new – see Astro Bot Adventure – but by placing you as a character rather than just a camera, all sorts of japes can take place.
Trover can jump, talk, hit things, and interact with the world. He’s also got a filthy mouth and doesn’t like you very much.
Thus the stage is set for an adventure that is elevated way beyond the action through its humour.
First task – take Trover’s Power Baby from his eye-hole and use it to power your chair – now you can warp around to glowing nodes in the world.
We warp ahead to meet a neighbor who wants to fuck you up because it’s your fault the universe is in danger. He REALLY wants you to know how much he hates you for everything and isn’t going to let you past.
THE VOICE ACTING
Important point – Roiland can only do so many voices. The enemies have Rick’s voice, Trover has Morty’s voice. You quickly get over it.
Oh the voice acting. At the Comedy in Games panel Justin Roiland explained how they had the story beats for the game, what needed to happen, and then recorded. They recorded for hours.
You know in a game when you leave NPCs to talk, and they have a but of extra dialogue? Trover takes this to the extreme – the characters go on and on and on, and the longer they talk the funnier and more absurd it gets.
So using Trover you fuck the neighbor up “WE BETTER RUN, I KILLED HIM”, warping from pad to pad, acquiring new abilities, and eventually hopping around the universe in Trover’s telepod.
Also Trover’s boss is a dick.
I played Trover in VR and flat pancake and while both play great, my preference was for the flat version, but intend to play through in both to make sure I see everything. With the power babies in my eyes.
I’m REALLY looking forward to getting my hands on Trover – you probably already know if you’ll enjoy it. I laughed out loud multiple times playing in public.
Trover Saves the Universe is out on 31 May 2019 on Steam, Epic, and PS4.
It’s developed and published by Squanch Games
Robin Bates – always fancied cosplaying as the eyehole man
More PAX East coverage coming very soon!