Have you ever found yourself stuck doing a monotonous task and wishing there was some way to spice it up? Ever been to a farmer’s market and felt rage bubbling up from within? If you enjoy games like Fruit Ninja or Job Simulator or the mere act of shooting guns, Shooty Fruity just might be worth checking out.
Juicy Plot with a Twist
Shooty Fruity puts you in the position of a new employee at Megamart, you’re given a series of retail-related tasks and, of course, an industry-standard arsenal of weaponry and power-ups. Your first job is in a cashier role; scanning and sorting items as they arrive, while fending off waves of demented fruits hell-bent on destroying your register.
Performing your primary duties within your role grants progress towards unlocking the diverse weaponry you can equip. You’re given a pistol initially, whereas heavier weapons take longer to acquire. Once unlocked, these weapons are added to a constant rotation of items dispensed through a hanging rack. You’ll need to properly utilise this rack due to how quickly your weapons degrade with use.
To effectively defend yourself from the hordes of deranged produce, you will need to determine which guns work best against which fruit and save your power-ups for when they are required. Items can also be stockpiled on multiple shelves and benches located on all sides. As it involves mostly turning on the spot and reaching for objects, Shooty Fruity lends itself equally well to sitting or standing gameplay.
Blast from the past
Set in a classically-retro shopping complex, Shooty Fruity‘s graphics pay homage to simpler times and early cartoons. Yet, they’re clear, and items and fruits can be differentiated at a distance. Shooty Fruity is so full of pop culture that it feels like being on a set.
Aside from the detailed environmental design, the interactions you have with the different fruits are enjoyable and immersive. Shooting fruits that get too close will result in their juices being splattered over your hands and weapons. Unique attack patterns, varied facial animations, and movement styles give the fruits credible personalities. The atmosphere is accentuated by the contrast between silly fruit voices and grounded supermarket jingles.
Shooty Fruity‘s sound design is well-thought-out, with ambient noises building the scene and really helping you believe you’re in a 1960’s supermarket. While gunshots lacked the oomph found in other games, Shooty Fruity makes up for it with the satisfying pop from exploding fruits, and metallic clangs when your guns fall apart. In addition to fruits, you get to hear the beautiful, gravelly voice of your maternal supervisor guiding you throughout the game.
A little too much zest
Unfortunately, despite the voice-actor narration, this game doesn’t have the best introduction for new players. While many of the mechanics are intuitive and there are hints given on the somewhat excessive loading screens, much information is only provided through large chunks of text. Regardless of the immersive workplace-appropriate memo theme that the game presents, reading any long text on a Quest feels like a chore.
Furthermore, if you are still gaining your VR legs, I wouldn’t suggest playing the game standing. The rapid movement, when reaching up high and down low, could cause disorientation and some nausea. While seated, this effect is far less severe, though you should still be cautious. Navigating the staff room starting menu via teleporting was also quite awkward, with your avatar placement always seeming a little too close to the surrounding fixtures.
Still more to squeeze out
An essential aspect of replayability in any game is competition, whether with yourself or others. Luckily, the developers (nDreams and Near Light) have provided both in the form of leaderboards, and per-level challenges. The challenges alone take hours. Points, earned by completing your jobs and shooting frenzied fruits, go towards your leaderboard scores. These points also become funds to be spent on weapons.
With 18 different weapons and 6 weapon slots, you have lots of options to customise your load-outs for each level. Useful, since, as mentioned previously, different weapons are more effective depending on the specific type of fruit.
When making Shooty Fruity, the developers seem to have found a rare balance between a quirky style and intense gameplay. This surprisingly challenging game capitalises on an almost compulsive need to tick all the boxes and earn all the stars. As the levels become increasingly difficult, the game demands that you adjust accordingly, and makes you want to beat your previous scores. If you consider yourself a completionist, enjoy a good challenge, or like watching your name climb up the leaderboard, this is probably a game for you.
TLDR : Summary
Shooty Fruity is fun, engaging and provides a fresh twist on the shooter genre. With this game's light-hearted humour, whimsical antics, and challenging gameplay, you'll soon find yourself buried in your new job as a cashier at Megamart.