Shooty Fruity Review
*You will do a little jig to the ingame music, it is impossible to avoid
*The "Juice" effect
*Lots of replayability
*User interfave usability
*The difficulty can ramp up fast and overwhelm you
Disclaimer: I originally wrote this review for PC Aficionado.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a supermarket cashier? Shooty Fruity by nDreams may just answer that question. You start off ringing up items, very similar in style and function to Job Simulator. However, some fruit has gone bad. How bad? Well, they are trying to destroy your checkout and get you fired. It’s okay though, the more you scan, the quicker you get an arsenal to defend yourself with. Do not mistake Shooty Fruity for your basic wave based shooter, so prevalent in the VR market. It is one of the most polished VR titles out to date.
You start of in the Employee Staff room. Here you have access to the leaderboards, weapon upgrades, options, stats and where you pick your shift. The fax machine on the desk prints off little office related humour jokes that made me chuckle. As you play through the game you earn juice to buy new guns, you putrchase these from the Snack Machine. New guns are unlocked for purchase as you progress and this helps to give you a real sense of progression.
When picking a shift you can choose a weapon line up from your purchased weapons and even open a quick shooting range to test them out. Also, at the shift chooser you can set your height and counter height. Moving around in the staff room is done via teleportation, it is essentially your menu. One of the first things you will want to do is look to your right and teleport over to the options arcade machine.
The first set of shifts start with you scanning items and throwing them down the shoots to the bagging area. At the start of each shift, you are given a set of challenges, these usually involve scanning X amount of items or earning X juice. Above you is a conveyor belt of guns, just the starting gun will show at first. As you scan more items, you unlock the other guns you choose in the line up at the start. They too will join the conveyor belt, the more expensive the gun the more you have to scan to unlock. Scan fast as it is not long until the fruit appears.
Every different fruit has different properties, like the cherries that fly at you or strawberries that spit at you, but they are all coming for your checkout, they want you sacked. Grab a gun and get blasting.
The shooting mechanics in Shooty Fruity felt perfect, I was soon nailing the fruit left right and center. The fruit do not make it easy though, they drop from vents, they bounce, they fly, all in all they make fantastic targets. After a few shifts you get promoted, you now have to sort colour coded food onto the right colour trays. Fruit still attempt to get you fired, so you have to work fast to earn your guns. It is from here that some shifts get hectic and can become difficult. This steep difficulty jump is not much of an issue. New shifts are unlocked by completing challenges not completing shifts. Apart from having fruit laugh at you there is no real disadvantage or setback to failure.
One of the great things in Shooty Fruity is that everything has a help button, tap it and receive well written help and tips. This has to be one of the most well documented VR games I have played to date. All the buttons you have to press are large and clear, making them easy to use. When you get into a shift, and you receive your challenges (the tasks you need to do to earn stars and unlock shifts) the game waits for you touch start. Like any of the skip buttons you need to hold the start button for a second or two, which prevents accidental clicking. Little details like this show that lots of care and time have gone into the user interface. nDreams have clearly taken user interaction / accessibility as a primary goal and I am very impressed with the results.
The graphics style is very much in keeping with Job Simulator which has been a clear influence on nDreams. Bright vibrant colours and, at epic setting, crystal clear with no performance loss on my PC (GTX 1080, I7 6700). When you shoot the rogue fruit they burst with juice, the juice makes a mess. In the hectic firefights, that I can only assume are common in supermarkets, your hands and till can become covered in juice. One of my first screenshots was me looking at my hands, covered in goo. The announcer in Shooty Fruity is your supervisor, she has the perfect tone in both voice and content. She will emotionlessly berate your performance and reminds me of a few supervisors I have had in the past (none of my current ones, gulp, they are awesome). Be warned, nDreams have chosen music that will have you unsuspectingly bobbing your head or doing a little jig.
Shooty Fruity is fun to play, way more than it should be. It is worth every penny of the asking price. There is a lot of replayability with the challenges on each of the shifts. Those shifts can be replayed with guns you unlock later too, allowing you to return and really take your revenge on those uperty fruits!