Rating: E10+ for Everyone
What do I want from a virtual reality game? I want it to be fun. I want it to be challenging, yet rewarding. Not so easy that I feel like I’m wasting my time, but challenging enough that I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I want it to work and like the development team cared, especially in the little details. Most of all, I want an experience that is unique to VR—something that couldn’t be replicated without it. I’m happy to admit, Shooty Fruity, by developer nDreams, nails the VR experience almost perfectly even in its short length.
Violence: Violence is regulated to shooting at fruit that has come to life and splatter with their respective fruit juices when hit. The guns have a realistic feel to them and can make someone who isn’t use to shooting a gun feel uncomfortable.
Shooty Fruity is at its (apple) core a shooting gallery game, but that’s not even close to an explanation. Taking the humor and interactivity of Job Simulator, the shooting and tower defense of Ancient Amuletor, mixed with a little of the Night of the Living Dead only swapped out with angry fruits, and you have an idea of what this title is. You’re a grocery clerk, and for some reason you have to use a target range to get some practice in before your shift starts.
Once you’ve chosen the weapons you want to use for that level (you start with two, but unlock over a dozen as you progress), you find yourself behind a counter with groceries coming towards you. The goal is to scan then throw or place them down the chute for bagging. All the while, mutant fruits are coming at you in full, crushing rage mode, and you also have to prevent them from reaching your counter.
You don’t have to reload your guns—in fact once you’re out of bullets the gun is useless. The good news is that overhead, there is a conveyor delivering a mostly non-stop supply of guns to use at your disposal. The more tasks you accomplish successfully, the more weapons and weapon power-ups you obtain. You also unlock better weapons and more power-ups as you continue to perform your tasks depending on how successful you perform your job.
In addition to the grocery clerk job, there’s a food processing job where you have to put the correct food cubes on their corresponding colored trays, and a stocking/bagging job where you have to put specific grocery items in specific slots in order to progress. All three jobs are deceptively simple in execution, but add the sieging hordes of crazed fruit heading towards you, and you’re quickly overwhelmed in the very best of ways.
This is really what sets Shooty Fruity apart, as you have to constantly switch between raining fire down on the ever encroaching fruit or handling the groceries to make paying customers happy. You are consistently switching between tasks and can even perform them both at the same time, providing a great dichotomy of panic and fun I thought would never work in a game like this.
Shooty Fruity looks really good, utilizing some nice cartoonish art styles and throwing them in your face. The different kinds of fruit look hilarious and showcase happy, sad, and angry faces as they inch ever closer. There’s an undeniable level of polish that makes the gameplay fun to play through. Speaking of gameplay, the guns look and feel great, and each shot fired feel powerful and authentic. The first time I fired dual machine guns I laughed in glee and awe as my screen lit up, annihilating anything in my path.
Multiple enemy types with different attacking properties give the combat somewhat of a strategic element and switch up your gameplay strategies. Also, the leaderboards give you a chance to put up some crazy numbers in order to increase your score over your friends and add to the replayability. The end result makes Shooty Fruity silly, funny, demanding, and absolutely unique.
Overall, I had a big, goofy grin on my face for the majority of Shooty Fruity’s mission length, and a look of terror when the fruit were coming in fast. Shooty Fruity is a deceptively simple game with silly name and a ridiculous premise, but it all works much better than I thought it would. It checks all the boxes you want in a shooting gallery type of game and even goes beyond with great gunplay, plenty of variation in mission structures, and a charming art style.
The Bottom Line
Shooty Fruity is a VR title I wish more games would try to emulate. It’s wholly unique and I had a blast playing it, even if the length and modes were lacking in length. If you like fun, than put aside Call of Duty or Battlefield and shoot some fruit.