Flavortown is an episodic series brought to us by The Last Hope Of The Internet. Episode 1 released on October 30th and though we don’t know when the remaining episodes will arrive, read on for our full Flavortown VR review.
You might not realise it but even before Episode 1’s launch, Flavortown already graced us on Steam as Flavortown: VR, seeing you investigate who murdered the Mayor of Flavortown (Of course, it was Guy Fieri). Though it got delisted back in March, LHOTI began working with Coatsink to create a brand new story within that same universe. Launching as an episodic release, it brings a fun experience that feels like Sausage Party mixed with a comedy cop show, but one that ends all too quickly.
You start off in a strange coma sequence, fading in and out of consciousness from a hospital bed. When you finally wake up, you’re inside a rather ominous room, given instructions by a monitor and there’s a pentagram with a cookie in it. After grabbing this for a snack, you need to fight a series of zombie meatballs, eventually reaching a dead end before fading back into “reality”. At this point, you’ll be introduced to the fellow meatball members of Flavortown’s Police Dept and you’re the team rookie. Henceforth referred to as “Rook”, your case is simple, investigate the Grill Scouts after the CCO was recently charged with embezzlement. Believing there’s more to this story, the Chief assigns you to a recon mission with fellow cops Biff and Buddy.
You’ll be given a full combat rundown in the training room, showing us how to use guns and holstering them. We’re also given a watch, which acts as your menu screen upon clicking it, advising you of current objectives and offering some case notes. It also contains a powerful laser but that isn’t available immediately. You can move freely across environments, grabbing items with the trigger and grip buttons after highlighting them. This can be done from long-range too and though that feels rather clunky in locking onto them, there’s some enjoyable gunplay here with good aiming.
When you arrive at Grill Scouts, you can’t just meet the CEO, there’s minigames to perform before advancing. This includes a “Simon Says” task that involves force feeding a group of overstuffed muffins, using colour co-ordinated food. You’ve got a telemarketing game, letting you choose automated responses off a soundboard to bizarre client calls. Finally, it offers a fishing game where you hook treasure chests via harpoon gun, assigning the contained letters to the applicable staff member after listening to their voicemails. Though Simon Says is enjoyable, the other minigames won’t hold your interest very long. Fishing has issues with precision shots and whilst chests are easy to grab, choosing the wrong letter means they re-emerge in the water, taking ages to hook.
Flavortown – Comfort
Flavortown VR doesn’t have many options for movement. There’s no teleportation option available or head/hand-based options, though you can select which hand your watch appears on. It uses smooth control stick locomotion for movement on the left controller, using the right stick for snap turning and it lets you adjust the turn rate. For those spectating your game, you can choose four different viewpoints.
Though the gameplay isn’t particularly strong, one of Flavortown’s most enjoyable aspects comes in its world building. It holds a strong sense of humour that’ll make you laugh, one that’s sometimes crass and often sweary, so it won’t appeal to everyone, but adds personality to this sea of interesting characters. That said, even by episodic standards, Episode 1 is short. You can finish it in just over an hour, maybe two if you keep replaying the minigames, but those will not occupy your time for long.
Flavortown Episode 1 Review – Final Verdict
Last Hope Of The Internet have brought us an interesting action-adventure premise with Flavortown. Though I cannot check how it compares with the original release, there’s a solid idea at the core, packed with good humour and enjoyable combat. Unfortunately, it suffers some minor issues with grabbing objects and whilst it offers replayable minigames, they don’t do much to increase the brief gameplay time. For $6 an episode though, there isn’t much risk here and I’m certainly curious to see how this saga unfolds.