When people think of VR gaming they instantly presume first person titles that attempt to deliver a realistic setting and concentrating on immersion. It is true, most of the titles available are of this ilk, but every so often a new concept pops up. I have played a few 3rd person games now and found that the quality has been quite good, and strangely they have a place in VR libraries. But never would I have picked a title like Pop Up Pilgrims to release on this format, Lemmings VR anyone?
As my introduction informed, Pop Up Pilgrims plays in a similar way to Lemmings, the classic game where you aided your Lemmings to either their survival, or their demise. Pop Up Pilgrims has an oriental theme with the pilgrims and environments looking traditional Japanese, along with your character, The Cloud God who has a delightful moustache.
Floating above the lands, The Cloud God has the ability to aid the pilgrims across platforms to their salvation. This is done by using a cloud icon that is controlled by your view (near dead centre of the PSVR) to either attach to Pilgrims and make them jump or in a particular direction or by placing a cloud launch pad that shoots the pilgrim to another platform.
The platforms are 2D and resemble a pop-up book (hence the name) with various platforms placed on different planes. You can easily move your cloud icon to the back platforms or foreground using the Duel Shock’s D pad. Overall the control scheme works quite well but it was frustrating trying to disengage with one pilgrim to the next as when moving away your cloud stretches out to adjust the angle and length of a jump. The ability to flip between pilgrims via a Duel Chock trigger would have been welcome.
Overall there are 6 different worlds to play through with 10 levels in each. The environments and hazards look different in each world but the game ultimately lacks variety. It all starts out as a fun new puzzler but a couple of hours in and things start to feel a little mundane.
Another criticism is the difficulty. The game is not much of a challenge at all unless you are a perfectionist that needs to get everything 100% complete. Each level can be passed with bronze, silver or gold achievement, and failure is near impossible. Each word contains a boss, these too are easily beaten, with chance of failure being slim.
As a 2D title with not a lot of depth in the detail, Pop Up Pilgrims is a really attractive game to look at. The art style suits the game design extremely well and the levels are filled with vibrant colours and smooth lines. I wouldn’t describe it as stunning but it is a pleasant world to be in. The sound is a ok but the music becomes reasonably annoying.
I started out really enjoying Pop Up Pilgrims but by the end of my time with it I had seen enough. It is a shame, as the game was enjoyable but the lack of depth and variety is its biggest downfall. It is one of the rare instances that I wished that the game was perhaps a little shorter. It is an unusual game, in that I would recommend it yet not be overly enthusiastic in doing so. The art and design were great, it just needed to have more variety or a few more strings to its bow to make it a must have.
Thank you to Plan of Attack for providing a copy of Pop-Up Pilgrims for review.