If you have ever worked in a supermarket on either the checkout or packing duties then you have most likely drifted off into your own fantasy world at some point. The monotonous task of scanning item after item, or placing the correct thing into the right parcel for someone who doesn’t appreciate all the work you are doing, can sometimes make you wish you were doing something else or that something more interesting was happening. Now, imagine you had just gone to work after watching a marathon of; Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Return of the Killer Tomatoes, Killer Tomatoes strike back, Killer Tomatoes Eat France, and Attack of the Killer Doughnuts (all real films!) and now you are monotonously performing your scanning duties – Shooty Fruity, I imagine, would be the fantasy world you create for yourself to get you through the day! Will Shooty Fruity result in being the employee of the month, or will it end up being a clean up on aisle 5? Let’s find out…
Shooty Fruity is a game in which you shoot fruit whilst trying to perform your day job of working various shifts in a supermarket. The game spans across 24 missions, each with 3 bonus objectives which must be completed in order to unlock further levels and weaponry. As you complete each mission, you earn Juice which can be used to purchase new weapons from the vending machine in the staff room and you will also unlock new roles in different parts of the store. You start off scanning items on the checkout and then move onto serving ‘food cubes’ in the canteen and then packing items into unseen boxes, ready for shipment. All of these must be performed whilst you are under constant attack from killer fruit which varies from; exploding flying cherries, angry bouncing apples, sly sneaking lemons and even massive rolling melons!
The core gameplay takes place at your assigned workstation; however, you also have access to the staffroom before and after a shift. The staffroom gives you access to; the options, leaderboards, your personal stats, a vending machine where you can buy new weapons, and a shooting range where you can try out all the weapons before going into your chosen mission. I love the shooting range, you get a load of ‘flat’ fruit (like at a carnival) which you shoot as they go past – all whilst you are trying out the new weapons you have just unlocked/bought. It also lets you practice your aiming and allows you to get used to the recoil before you are placed in front of live fruit.
The ‘locker’ is both the level select and the target range. You unlock new levels based on how many stars you have obtained, stars which are awarded for completing various objectives on each mission, such as ‘gain X amount of juice within a certain time frame’ or ‘kill X amount of Y fruit with Z weapon.’ I both like and hate this mechanic (not just in this game but in every game) as it does prolong the life of the game as you try and get all the stars and unlock everything the game has to offer; however, it also locks away content if you’re unable to obtain enough stars. This ‘unlocking’ method seemed to become popular with mobile games such as Angry Birds and it’s one of the things I wish hadn’t stuck and moved over to console games. That being said, this game is so much fun I can honestly see myself replaying levels over and over to obtain the stars. You can earn them one at a time as you don’t need to get all 3 in one go, plus the missions are only about 4 minutes long.
There are three things that really stand out about this game which puts it as my favourite VR shooter of all time (I’ve only had PSVR a few months but I own almost every game for it). The first thing is the controls. You use the move controllers and you are locked in a stationary position as if you are sat at the till or at a workstation. The controls are so precise and it feels so natural that I never felt like the game was being cheap and making me lose – if I lost then it was my fault basically. You can adjust in-game the height of your desk (so it’s perfect if you are stood up or sat down) and even how far down the guns hang within gameplay (again, so it’s at a level you are comfortable with). The only thing you can’t adjust is how far back you are – I had an issue with this before the day one patch as a hold of the options button, to calibrate, placed you a bit too far forward when seated, but the patch seems to have rectified this. You can easily grab guns, put them down for when you need them, grab and throw food or items down the line and even grab and throw the enemies – the cherries act as grenades you can use against the other fruit; if you can grab them!
The second outstanding feature is the enemies themselves. Each piece of fruit has it’s own identity and personality – for example, the lemon will sneak in and hide behind items and try and work its way around the back of you, the apple will confidently bounce right up to you and constantly jump on you and the giant Mellon will just roll at you like a massive tank, absorbing all your bullets as it gets closer in order to attack. Each fruit has it’s own strengths and weaknesses so when you start out you have a very limited weapons loadout but as time goes on, you learn what weapons are best against each fruit so you can customise the loadout of six weapons accordingly. This adds a hint of strategy to the mix and it also brings me to my final mechanic I love…
Guns, guns, guns….. Well, to put it correctly, your weaponry loadout is the third thing. Call of Duty can learn a thing or two from nDreams as the guns sound amazing. I would have thought that in a game like this, the guns would sound all ‘pew pew’ and light, but no! The magnum sounds like a car backfiring, the revolver sounds like a tonne of bricks being dropped onto steel and the grenades made me blink when they blew up! I absolutely love the sound and feel of the guns in this game, if you can’t tell. Everything feels so satisfying, it’s nice and easy to quickly swap between the guns you can store on your workstation and every gun has it’s own positive and negative. The positive revolves around the damage, ease of use and amount of ammo before expired. The negative consists of bullet spread, range and time before use – each gun has a set amount of ‘successful’ duties before they unlock in gameplay; for example, you may need to successfully scan 15 items at the checkout before you can use the shotgun yet the revolver is available straight away with nothing scanned. This leads to another bit of strategic thinking as I stupidly started a few games with only weapons that unlocked after a certain number of items had passed, so I was quickly devoured by the fruit!
The music in the game is perfect! It’s the standard ‘muzak’ audio which you used to hear in stores and elevators and instantly creates the illusion that you are actually working in a supermarket. These days this is replaced with real, licenced music in real life stores, but this style of music really helps you get emersed in the role. The voice acting is also great as the lady on the tannoy sounds like the slug from Monsters inc.! (sorry if you read this) and she has some really amusing puns she throws at you. The only thing about the voice acting which I didn’t like was the limited amount of it! After a few rounds, you are hearing the same things being said – all of which are great, but it would have been nice if they provided more for the lady to say (maybe in an update patch?).
The final thing to mention is the Leaderboards – I wasn’t good enough to unlock up to that part at the moment with my limited time in the game but as you unlock mission 17 you gain access to the Checkout Marathon. This seems to record your highest score and posts it into an online leaderboard. There appears to be a Marathon for each job type and I can see this being very competitive once you reach that point. Again, it may be because of my skill level but I would have liked that to be an option outside of the star missions, an option you can pick at any time to participate in, rather than having to obtain 32 stars in order to even partake in the Marathon.
First two missions, no commentary:
Shooty Fruity is my favourite PSVR shooter released so far, the guns feel weighty and real, the splats of the fruit is strangely satisfying and the fruit themselves are all created with love and strategic personalities. The game itself isn’t the longest, but with its short mission lengths and multiple objectives per-mission, it’s a game you can easily pick up and play a few rounds of here and there. If you have a PSVR or if you are getting one for Christmas, ensure Shooty Fruity is on your shopping list and don’t forget, the fruits are revolting…
- The guns feel so good in VR
- The AI personalities and varieties are great
- Muzak and voice acting is perfectly suited
- Very cheap for the amount of replayability
- The whole game looks great once you are in VR
- The Tannoy lady starts repeating lines quite soon
- You have to unlock the Marathon modes for leaderboards
- Some of the objectives can get very samey
- I wish there was a co-op mode (not a negative, but a wish)