GamingReview: Yupitergrad

Review: Yupitergrad

Swinging Soviet

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Story and Gameplay

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to swing around New York City like Spider-Man, saving people from bad guys and being a hero? Well Yupitergrad isn’t that… but it probably is the closest thing you’re going to get. If you swap out Spider-Man for a soviet astronaut, web shooters for, well, plungers attached to your arms and New York City for a space station, this is what you get. Although the experience is not quite the same nor heroic, Yupitergrad is a fantastic puzzle game in which players must swing around a space station completing challenges with varying difficulty.

The only tools at the players disposal are the plungers attached to their arms which can be used to initiate a swing or rappel up and down as well as a small jet on each arm that can push the player in the direction that they are facing. This jet is especially helpful when the player has to navigate through water or implement fine adjustments to direction when flying through the air. For the most part the swinging mechanic itself is very satisfying and with practice can be mastered and before you know it you really are Spider-Man.

Players should also be on the lookout for the fine but satisfying details. To name one of them, if you stick your plunger close to you and pull in the opposite direction you will notice that the string will have tension and you will even feel a bit of feedback in your controller.

Yupiterad is not without its issues though, from my personal experience the length that the plunger can be shot out is far too long, meaning that the player constantly has to shorten the length of the rope in order to swing properly or manoeuvre around an obstacle. If the rope had a shorter maximum length then this would improve the smoothness of the swinging with less interruptions.

Another issue that I was coming across during my experience was the weight of the player character. Yes Yupitergrad is set in a space station and has a much lower gravity, however I do feel at times the the player character doesn’t feel weighted enough and I began to become disconnected with the movement. Having more of a weighted feel would make the movement feel much more real and would make it much easier to practice perfect swinging as you would no longer be launching your character into the air and completely losing control.

Art Style

Yupitergrad adopts a cell shaded art style which is really one of its stand out features. This art style has been made famous by popular games such as Borderlands. This art style was definitely was the perfect route for the game, especially since it’s built for a VR platform. The reason I say that it’s great for a VR platform is because a lot of VR games have taken a more realistic approach but due to the specs of the quest 2, they can sometimes become blurry and disconnecting for the player. Yupitergrad fortunately does not suffer this same fate and the cell shaded art style is executed beautifully and really suits the vibe of the game.

Replay Value

In terms of replay value, Yupitergrad manages to redeem itself at the perfect time. The actual length of the story is very short, clocking in at around 2-3 hours. Initially I took issue with this as I love long well though out campaigns and there aren’t many VR games that satisfy this. Just when I thought I was ready to put down the game and write about my disappointment with the story length, Yupitergrad comes flying out of the gate, presenting me with the time trial mode.

Time trial is a perfect mode to extend the replay time and gives players a chance to put their skills to the test to beat their personal best times, all while trying new levels and new obstacles. If there was a perfect reason for players to master their speed and swinging skills then this would be it.

Although time trial does offer a great incentive to play and master the game for many more hours, it also opens up the need for a few missing features. Although there is a leaderboard that displays times from the best players all over the world (there are a few suspiciously fast scores by the way) there just seems to be something missing. Yupitergrad’s time attack mode or even a new mode entirely would benefit so much from some form of multiplayer, whether it be local or online. The thought of being able to swing side by side with friends, causing trouble and racing each other is so exciting and would add a new dimension to the game.

VR Comfort

One major talking point that’s has to be addressed with any VR game is the comfort level. Ultimately the comfort level is what decides how long the player is able to spend playing the game and whether they decide to continue playing it in the future. From my experiences Yupitergrad is a game that needs to be played in short bursts rather than all at once. Around the 45 minute mark I started experiencing nausea and I needed to stop playing for a while. This is definitely something to consider if you are considering purchasing Yupitergrad.

Verdict

Yupitergrad is a fantastic VR puzzler game that with practice can make players feel like a real life Spider-Man. The very popular cell shaded art style fits the vibe of the game perfectly and doesn’t suffer any major downgrades or blurriness that plague other games. There are some minor setbacks such as the short story, lack of multiplayer and a comfort level that may be tough for some players however it is an overall fantastically fun experience.

SUMMARY

+ Amazing replay value
+ Great cell shaded art style
+ Time trial mode
+ Challenging without being too difficult
- Short story
- May be nausea inducing for some players
- Player character doesn’t feel weighted enough
- No multiplayer element

Reviewed on Oculus Quest 2
Derren Bennett
I’m Derren, 25 and ever since I was young I was obsessed with everything movie, tech and gaming related. I’m more than happy to accept the title of nerd! I’m also a very opinionated person and I hope that my writing will be fun and engaging for readers but most importantly it will be real and honest.

2 COMMENTS

    • Hi Piotr, you’re very welcome, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and apologies for not mentioning the music.

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