Welcome to VirtuaVerse, a future cyberpunk adventure where companies spam advertising 24/7 and virtual reality has become an almost permanent tool. Hardware and software are equally regularized and freedom to think and create is entirely compromised. Our main character, Nathan, still fights to hold on to the last big remaining fragment of the human condition and together with his girlfriend they hack and modify their way into survival.
One day, though, everything changes as his partner goes missing, leaving behind an encrypted message. Nathan will traverse the city and search for his significant other, but what mysteries lie ahead? More importantly, what is Jay involved in that made her leave so suddenly?
When it comes to the world and consequently, its story, VirtuaVerse is packed with details and references providing a fantastic placement of characters. The main story is intriguing and remarkably captivating, even for non cyberpunk enthusiasts. Featuring iconic humor, hardware and software references which many of us can quickly pick up on. It’s clear VirtuaVerse was developed by software enthusiasts, which is a major positive point!
Following a traditional gameplay style of Point & Clickers, Nathan can look and interact with objects, each with its different dialogue. As players progress in the game, picking up items and combining them becomes available, but there’s more to the gameplay, a lot more. Nathan can use different apps in terminals, complete mini-games in order to progress and even interact with other NPC’s to complete objectives.
The puzzles are not repetitive, nor is any feature included in the game, as everything feels unique and progression leaves a print of slowly walking towards the truth. The expected pace can be compared to other classics of this genre, and looking for small clues may prove useful, even though sometimes lacking attention to those details can delay your progress. Like with many other similar games, VirtuaVerse will require your complete attention, to take on even the small hints.
There are some interesting gameplay details that will catch your attention, such as the good amount of scripted messages when incorrectly using items, which is always funny and somehow pleasant to see. Clearly an adventure up and beyond 10 hours of gameplay, especially with plenty of dialogue and details surrounding each area of the game.
The pixel art suits the retro futuristic vibe and it’s extremely well designed, with impressive reflections and little details such as rain and characters distinctive behavior. Simple but complete, or more specifically, with a soul. Colors are vibrant, in both the advertising neons all around the city, as well as the dark alleys hiding all the hacker's illegal activities.
With a fantastic soundtrack by Master Boot Record, VirtuaVerse is filled with an 80’s atmospheric wave of futuristic ranging vibes, immediately associated with a cyberpunk universe, matching the game entirely. You can listen and purchase the soundtrack HERE, and I personally found the music highly suiting each scene, giving a much needed touch since the game isn’t voiced over.
VirtuaVerse is a fantastic and highly recommended Point & Click, with a good and sharp sense of humor, featuring a desolated cyberpunk vision, one where freedom is fought trough hacking and hardware manipulation. A smart, engaging and overall, fresh approach over the genre. Impressive dedication from the developers, a game developed with care and love.
Initial gameplay video on YouTube by MinPin Games
Check out the full playlist here: MinPin Games's VirtuaVerse video playlist.