Party videogames can be a riotous laugh with friends, involving fast paced mini-games that can have you thinking on your feet as you try to out do one another. This is the basic premise for British developer make[REAL]’s first proper virtual reality (VR) videogame, Loco Dojo, bringing everyone together for some laughs and competition, which it does succeed at, (for the most part).
Loco Dojo perfectly exemplifies British humour and the love for all things daft and quirky – the team secured the vocal stylings of Brian Blessed which is always a plus point. This isn’t a videogame that takes anything seriously, and for that it should be saluted. The premise is simple, you find yourself in front of a wooden circular game board with 16 mini-games located in four zones around a grand temple. Succeed at the mini-games and you’ll be awarded tokens that’ll up your belt ranking, with the aim of accessing the temple for the final challenge.
The mini-games make[REAL] has created vary wildly in their difficulty, and time is short to really master them. You’ll be swatting bats with nunchuck hotdogs, milking pigs with baby pigs, stacking moles, whacking urchins, flinging cats, throwing biscuits and more besides – that’s a running theme of food and animals that makes you think what other crazy ideas the studio came up with. You’ll soon find your favourite games to gain gold medals in and this can go onto add a real strategic element to the proceedings. When spinning the dice (numbered 1-4) there’s a question mark that enables you to choose almost any location to move your counter to, thus selecting the games you’re mostly likely to succeed at or just enjoy the most.
This mixture of gameplay elements makes Loco Dojo a great multiplayer experience but just like any online VR multiplayer it does suffer from player numbers. Multiplayer tournaments have been hard to find at this early stage, really you need a few mates with Oculus Rifts and Touch, then arrange a session together. If this can’t be done then there’s always the single-player ‘Table of Trials’ option which is a very wise decision on the studio’s part. This provides an opportunity to actually play Loco Dojo if no other players can be found and to learn and practice the mini-games. If make[REAL] hadn’t included the feature Loco Dojo might have suffered the same fate as many other indie multiplayer’s and died before it had time to shine.
There’s always that worry when buying a multiplayer focused videogame that everything hinges on player uptake and to a point Loco Dojo is no different – mainly due to the size of Oculus Rift and Touch’s user base. Hopefully this won’t be the case as those who do decide to take the plunge will be richly rewarded with a videogame that is highly enjoyable to play and will keep them coming back for more. There’s also the fact that make[REAL] has already confirmed loads of ideas are in the pipeline for more content additions, vital for keeping that party spirit alive.