Studio Roqovan certainly has a quirky sense of humour. The virtual reality (VR) developer is well known for its online multiplayer World War Toons on PlayStation VR, a first-person shooter (FPS) that not only features snipers and soldiers but a Yeti and gorilla as selectable characters. So you’d be right in thinking the developers next title might feature more of the same humour and cartoonish design, and it hasn’t disappointed. Rolled out this month for HTC Vive is an experience no one could have guessed, a stunt creation videogame where the star of the show is a corgi dog.
Yeah that’s right, Stunt Corgi is all about building weird and wacky courses for your pet pooch to run, jump and roll through, as many times as you like. Set in a back garden, all the objects needed to create the courses are instantly available, there’s no need to unlock anything. At your disposal are basic items like ramps, boxes, planks of wood, barrels and more. While an advanced menu holds cannons, teleporters, fans, trampolines and other items. A third menu gives you access to various effects to make the entire show visually impressive, adding fire, a glitter ball, smoke, sirens and other loud, bright actions.
The studio has included a few examples to give you an idea of how things work, then it’s entirely up to you to build something in this sandbox environment. While a first glance this may seem like a videogame for kids, due to the mechanics it tends to be more suited to older players as getting everything just right can be a bit finicky.
Stunt Corgi has been designed to fully use the HTC Vive’s roomscale system so you need to physically walk around to place items. They can be picked up and moved around at distance – even spun with both controllers – but there’s no option for moving them towards or further away, you need to do that with your feet. This is fine if you have a decently sized area to play in, otherwise you may run out of room quickly. Another issue by not having movement options comes when you’ve filled the garden with a complicated course and a particular section needs editing yet there’s stuff in the way, it’s not always practical to walk around it.
So movement maybe limited, yet the amount you can do isn’t. There’s a decent enough range of items to interact with that you could spend hours and hours on different designs and never create a similar course twice, depending on your imagination. The corgi also has a few tricks up its paw for getting around, each of which you control. Why run from place to place when rolling is much more fun. Or how about jumping fearlessly onto a trampoline after walking up a ramp on hind legs, this corgi does it all.
This all takes place in wonderful cartoon environment that won’t be taxing to any VR-ready PC. Lower specced PC’s may start to struggle once the area is littered with items however, although VRFocus’ GTX 970 seemed to handle everything well.
Stunt Corgi is one of those VR titles that’s hard to define. It doesn’t really fit into any category and doesn’t feature any goal as such – for those that like a start and end to their videogames. The experience is missing certain options like movement or being able to manipulate the items – like stretching or shrinking them – but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable to play. Stunt Corgi is a videogame you’ll either love and spend hours on or find it amusing for an hour then get bored, the question you need to ask yourself is, how much do you love making corgi’s jump through hoops?