Virtual Rick-ality Sets Precedent for Cross-Media Engagement


VR, News | June 1, 2017 | By Cassidy Dwelis

While Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality does everything you’d expect out of a virtual reality game,  it brings much more to the table. You’re a lonely pair of hands and a floating head, there is stuff to grab, things to pull, and buttons to press, but ingenuity is king. Dan Harmon, creator of Rick and Morty, has displayed his prowess in satire yet again in his new game. He pokes fun at VR tropes and also creates a challenging and entertaining experience.

By combining his absurd style of writing with VR, Harmon immerses the player in a game where the other characters know you’re in a game. They know you’re nothing more than hands and controllers and proceed to mess with you because of it.

The game is impressive first in its feat to take something that is successful on television, animated in two dimensions, and pull it into the third. Then, Harmon takes the game a step further and ads the element of VR, dragging the player into video game mayhem.

The experience is complete with “Bop-It” style puzzles, shooter elements, and dirty humor. Taking nods from the other VR game Harmon helped produce, Accounting, Harmon forces the player to do things that they absolutely do not want to do. Killing innocent space creatures and violently ridding the world of a Mr. Meeseeks creates an environment that one imagines the real Morty faces every day.

The most endearing feature of this VR experience is the after-game content. After experiencing the story, the player is encouraged by Rick and Morty to explore the game. I believe this is Harmon’s way of saying, “This is more than your standard VR game.”

Harmon encourages a “Party Game” environment by goading the player to get the highest scores in mini games. All the crazy achievements can be enjoyed with friends. There are also loads of Easter Eggs in the game. Rick mentions 13 cassette tapes (some of which contain some of the show’s most kickin’ tunes, like “Get Schwifty” and “The Rick Dance”). Jerry is also hiding out somewhere in the game, apparently. The players also have the ability to explore the game Troy, a VR game within a VR game, which was a theme that was prevalent in Accounting as well.

All in all, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality provides a fun environment where players are encouraged to touch everything, sometimes with hilarious and unprecedented consequences. The game bridges the gap between 2D animation and virtual reality flawlessly. Harmon brings a hilariously terrible, roller-coaster- like experience to the tip of your fingers.

From a developer’s standpoint, the game brings not technical prowess, but a showcase of the developers’ love for the little details. Their passion for world building comes through in the sheer amount of interactive objects lying around.

If anything, Virtual Rick-ality is a pleasant look at what is to come from VR. Soon, we'll live in a world where you’re not just playing the game, but you’re playing a game that knows it’s being played.