VRog Review (PSVR)
Have you ever had a lingering thought about your chances of survival as a hapless amphibian?
For the one or two of you eccentrics that croaked yes at your screen (I am here to judge the game, not you), Vrog is here to help you scratch that itch. An arcade game that puts you in the role of a frog, spending his/her days hopping around the lily pads of a pond. Seeking food, while ensuring not to become food itself.
VRog sports two different game modes. Arcade, where you try to score as much as possible. And Survival, where the crux of the game’s challenge comes in.
The rules of engagement are the same for the most part across the two modes. You must consume insects while perched on a lily pad to increase your score. Netting many of the same insect in a row gives you a combo and bonus points. There are certain insects that will give you buffs. The dragonfly, slows down time when you consume it, while the ladybird gives you night vision. While the dragonfly was useful, I did not find any use for the ladybird as the game takes place in the day. There are also the wasps that, if consumed, disorient the frog and leave you unable to move for a few seconds.
The game play is pretty simple. So to keep you on your toes Survival mode brings in a foe in the form of a huge stork. He lumbers towards you at a glacial pace. Complete with a Jaws-esque theme that builds to a crescendo as he towers over you.
Over the five stages, the only thing that actually changes is the speed of the stork. This did add tension, but VRog was still pretty easy to complete.
Being a vr game, immersion is very important and I am happy to say that VRog delivers on that front. Head tracking is the only control method in the game. From the menus, to eating insects and jumping from place to place. Focus on a required point for a few seconds and the action triggers. It is pretty much required that you stand to play VRog. You will be turning your head and moving your body to lock onto an insect or flee the stork. The simplistic control system allows you to become accustomed to being a frog.
Vrog sports vibrant visuals. The various insects have a cartoony look that would appeal to kids. There is only one location used for both game modes, across all levels. A little variation would have been nice, as you soon learn the shape of the level. Apart from the stork, there is no real challenge for the player.
The scale in Vrog is fantastic. Reeds tower above you. The first time seeing the stork up close brought up a tense feeling, like that of a horror game. That soon wears off when you realise that it is pretty difficult for the stork to catch you. But the devs have done a good job in making you feel like a small frog in a big pond.
While I did enjoy my time spent with Vrog, I had completed the game (survival) within 25 minutes. Unlocking all the trophies available in the game but one. Which would have been easy to get if I had looked at the trophies beforehand. There is no platinum, but an easy gold for trophy hunters. There are no online leaderboards, and a lack of variety in the bugs and environment. Thus, once I had completed the game there was little incentive to play any more. Though it would be a fun show piece for people interested in VR who may not play video games often.
The developers have aimed this game for the younger members of the family. That is clear that from the wacky and colourful art design, and loud belching sounds that the frog makes when it eats a few insects. In doing so they have made a technically sound vr game for the entire family to enjoy. For most however, the enjoyment will probably not extend past an hour or two.
Which is a shame because, as it stands, Vrog is as shallow as the pond it is set in.
6 lily pad leaps out of 10