Review: RADtv

Gone are the days where virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts had to argue until they were blue in the face that the technology was antisocial. There are plenty of prime examples of how, with enough inventive thought, VR can be enjoyed by the many, whether that’s online or at home. When it comes to local social gameplay mini-games tend to rule the roost, such as the recent Penn & Teller VR experience. The latest to tackle this genre is the rather unusual RADtv, offering a mixture of frantic gameplay and sadistic comedy.

When dealing with a mini-game compilation like RADtv it’s difficult not to compare the title to the genre king, Nintendo’s Warioware. All the hallmarks are there, incredibly fast games that barely give you time to breathe or blink, just enough to assess and act. Thankfully, there’s a little more time in RADtv as it’s perfectly suited to VR, plus the fact that because of the energetic style of each component it’s easy to knacker yourself out.

The basic premise behind RADtv is that you’re sat on the sofa with three mates and you’re channel flicking. Each channel is a new game and there are 25 to play through. Offering both single-player and social multiplayer, options are kept very minimal with the only one being the ability to swap the design of your hands once they’ve been unlocked. Apart from upper body movement, there’s no need to worry about running around which should mean it’s super comfortable for most players and great as an intro to VR.

An intro just so long as you’re not a kid, as RADtv most definitely leans towards dark comedy at points, such as the game where you can throw shuriken at a spinning wheel to pop balloons, just be careful not to hit the woman in the centre. One of the perfect examples of RADtv’s lightning gameplay is an early quick draw shooter level. Five guys sit at the table and you have a gun laid in front of you. Once one of them goes for his gun then you can grab yours and shoot. You really only have a split second to act, meaning RADtv is all about repetition until you master it.

This is especially so on levels where multiple items need to be grabbed. This can be one of the most frustrating elements in RADtv as the window for error seems to be incredibly narrow. Most VR experiences don’t tend to be too rigid when it comes to picking stuff up, so long as your hand is reasonably near then fine. Trying to catch flying toast or grabbing peas to throw into someone’s month in five or fewer seconds can turn from a challenge into frustration rather quickly.

While 25 mini-games doesn’t seem like a massive amount Ruffian Games has employed some additional mechanics to beef up the gameplay. Each mini-game has four challenges to complete (succeed in all four to get new hand designs), some of which can be achieved at the same time, others by coming back again and again. Some of the levels also change, such as the drone flying game. All you need to do is fly the drone through several rings, but there’s no chance of perfecting a route as their position and amount change each time. The feature certainly helps to keep these levels fresh and repeatable without getting boring.

As mentioned RADtv is social, with the multiplayer option a case of setting a score and then passing the headset to a friend for them to attempt a better score. This where you’ll get the most fun out of RADtv, adding the option to challenge a friend gives the videogame much-needed longevity.

RADtv is quick instant fun that’s great for short stints in VR. With a bold distinctive art style, interesting character design and zany gameplay, RADtv isn’t a videogame that wants to be taken seriously; it just wants to put a smile on your face. This is an impulse purchase title and Ruffian Games has priced it accordingly, great for those moments where you can’t decide what to play.

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