If you happen to be a virtual reality (VR) enthusiast and an avid fan of the cartoon network adult animated comedy Rick and Morty, Owlchemy Labs and Adult Swim Games are teaming up to bring the Rickest Rick and the Mortiest Morty to a (virtual) reality near you.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is a taste of what’s to come for the popular TV franchise’s first VR venture. It’s a short demo created using the same engine and programming IP as Job Simulator, one of the first available VR experiences on the market from Owlchemy Labs. Virtual Rick-ality has been around for some time as well, but PAX East was the first time we had a chance to get scwifty in VR with Rick and Morty.
Be A Morty (Sort Of)
In Virtual Rick-ality, you are a Morty clone (aww, jeez Rick!) that comes into existence in Rick’s garage/lab. Well, you’re a clone of Morty’s head and hands, which are somehow floating in the air. Rick and Morty (the real one) need to go off on some wacky adventure in another dimension, but Rick also needs his laundry cleaned. The obvious solution is to create a clone of Morty to do the laundry for him, and your first task in existence is to remove Rick’s shamefully stained garments from a basket and put them in the washer. Don’t take too long--if you dawdle, Rick will give you a hard time, and even the real Morty will start to question why you are just standing there, doing nothing, just existing.
Once your task is complete, Rick doesn’t see a purpose to your continued existence, and he takes out his ray gun and shoots you right between the eyes. Everything goes black, but a ringing phone suddenly appears in front of you as you find yourself in Purgatory (it says so on a sign above you). Picking up the phone and bringing it to your ear (the demo uses Unity’s spacial audio engine, so you won’t be able to hear it well unless you hold it like a phone) connects you to customer service, which reveals that they weren’t expecting you so soon, and that you can push that button below the phone to just live again, if you want.
Pushing the button brings you back to Rick’s garage, but Rick and Morty don’t have time to deal with you, so Rick teaches you how to teleport (so you can move around and explore the makeshift laboratory) while also explicitly warning you not to touch anything while they’re gone. He opens a portal and leaves with Morty. However, why would you not touch everything you can in a VR experience with hand tracking (you wouldn’t, so we didn’t).
Exploring the garage, you can pick up a plumbus (everyone knows what that is, everybody has one of those), tinker with Rick’s trademark tool (a screwdriver), or mess with a Mr. Meeseeks box, which has been modified to mimic your movements (and is also just a floating head and set of hands). You can use this Meeseeks to reach things that are further away (because your range of teleport is limited), and we could see this interesting tool make it to the final game as a puzzle-solving mechanic.
Eventually, messing with too much of Rick’s equipment will trigger a chain reaction that brings the world to the brink of destruction. The sky outside turns red, and lightning ripples across the atmosphere, and Rick and Morty return to save the day. However, to end the crisis, you have to pull the lever on the far wall, which will supposedly fix everything.
As the mini story climaxes, Rick instructs you to walk through a fresh portal that he shoots next to you with his trusty portal gun. It brings you to the end of the demo, where Rick and Morty reappear along with a huge game logo. They did it! They made a VR game! One hundred years Rick and Morty VR!
Adult Swim Games and Owlchemy Labs are steadfast on following through on this demo, which is not surprising given the popularity of the Rick and Morty franchise. However, an exact launch date for the full game is unknown. This demo shows that the tools and technology are there, but we’ll have to wait a considerable time before we can dive into Virtual Rick-ality for a full-fledged adventure with Rick and Morty.