I came to Shooty Fruity to do two things: ring up groceries and shoot some fruit in the face. And it looks like I’m all outta’ groceries. This is the unusual premise of Shooty Fruity, the latest PlayStation VR title from nDreams. Do you love customer service? Do you hate fruit? Is this PSVR workplace sim/shooter worth your hard-earned cash? These are the existential questions we’ll be asking ourselves as you continue reading.
On the surface, Shooty Fruity looks like a cross between the popular Job Simulator and one of the many cartoony shooters that have found a home in the early wave of first generation VR games. It’s a ridiculous mix that actually makes for some silly fun, even if it’s more of what we’ve already seen. Let me set the stage for you. It’s your first day on the job at the local supermarket. You’ll start in the break room, where you’ll get the lowdown on your new job. It’s also where you’ll be choosing your daily tasks and purchasing new weapons after you start raking in those phat minimum wage stacks.
Your first task is manning the cash register. A conveyor belt shovels the groceries towards you, and using your trusty Move controllers; you pick them up, brush them past the scanner and toss them down the appropriate chute. Simple, right? That is until the produce department rises up to defeat you and your evil human cohorts who insist on eating them. Or maybe they’re just pissed that we buy them, put them in a bag and then forget about them until they’re rotten. Who’s to say? Either way, these fruit are fed up and are not taking it any longer, and it’s your job to turn that cherry into jam before they destroy your till and send you back to the unemployment line.
Along with the traditional grocery slinging conveyor belt at waist level, there is also a conveyor overhead with your guns, which is probably how grocery stores actually work in Texas. When the fruit starts to creep from the back of the store or drop from vents, you just grab a pistol from overhead and start blasting. This first weapon will require a steady hand and a sharp eye, as it’s not very powerful. After completing levels and earning some money, you can buy some additional firepower like shotguns, grenades, machine pistols and many others.
Besides manning the checkout counter, you’ll also spend some time dishing out some food and working in the backroom, selecting the right items off the belt to package. You’re official task may change, but your real job is always the same. And that job is turning fruit into fruit juice with extreme firepower and extreme prejudice. What makes the game work is combining the trusty shooting gallery idea with the mundane tasks of the minimum wage worker. It’s silly and stupid, and most importantly, it’s fun—if only in short bursts. In fact, the game excels in these short burst of fun. Whether you’re getting owned, or owning, most levels are over quick before you get a real chance to get bored.
The team at nDreams ratchets up the difficulty by sending more and more fruit at you. Some of them fight back by spitting seeds at you, and some are just harder to shoot by the way they dance around the screen. You’ll have to learn each fruits tendency if you want to advance to the final levels. You’ll also have to be more precise in the menial task of doing you grocery job as well, such as scanning the actual code, choosing the right bag chute etc. Completing these tasks and accurately shooting things is more difficult than you think.
How is the shooting you ask? Good question. Blasting a taunting blueberry, a dancing banana, and a spitting strawberry and spraying their juicy insides all over the screen with a bigass gun is as satisfying as you can imagine. All is not perfect, however, as the gun play doesn’t feel as tight as it could be. The tracking seemed fine throughout, but I never felt the accuracy or precision that you get in games like Dick Wilde. It’s not bad, and certainly not a deal breaker, but games like the aforementioned Dick Wilde proved that more precision is possible with the current tech.
Shooty Fruity is a good first wave VR game that just happens to be dropping at (what I believe will be) the early stage of the second wave of Virtual Reality games. While that may hurt it in the long run, I think there is an audience for this unique shooting gallery. If you’ve ever worked retail and wished you could carry a gun, this game may be for you. Which reminds me of a quote from a very wise man: “This job would be great, if it wasn’t for the @##^ing customers.”
Shooty Fruity PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7.0/10
Shooty Fruity is good, silly fun with a unique premise. I’ve played shooting galleries with better precision and accuracy, but I’ve never played one while bagging groceries. Despite the ridiculous and fun premise, the game at times felt like more of the same: another first wave VR game at the end of the first wave.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.