A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Shooty Fruity is a downloadable virtual reality first-person shooter. In it, you blast fruit that are attacking you while you're working at a supermarket. Its humorous premise and cartoon graphics make it very unrealistic, but parents should know it does require using multiple weapons to explode this fruit. Parents should be aware, too, that virtual reality equipment makers don't recommend VR experiences for kids under 12 due to the potential impact the technology may have on younger players' physiological development.
What's it about?
SHOOTY FRUITY is a VR game with a name that sums up the premise. You work in a supermarket and must scan items, such as cans of beans and boxes of cereal, until genetically modified fruit starts a rebellion and begins to attack you on the job! So you must use weapons -- like handguns, rifles, and hand grenades -- to destroy this oncoming fruit, which will kill you if they get too close. That's right, fruit might include rolling watermelon, flying cherries, and bouncing raspberries, and you must grab weapons that appear in front of you on a clothesline and unleash rounds while also performing your job. Your tasks get more difficult, too, like placing scanned items in a specific area (while simultaneously keeping an eye on the oncoming fruit, too). The game also includes power-ups that give you temporary bonuses (small discs you pick up and drop in a receptacle), as well as goals to achieve per level.
Is it any good?
While it's not a mainstream title, this is one of the most fun VR experiences you can have, and at under $20, it's a steal. Combining a first-person shooter mechanic with a simulation like Job Simulator is a great idea to begin with, and then you layer in the ridiculous premise of genetically modified fruit coming alive, a sarcastic boss talking to you over the PA system, and many unlockable goodies, and it's a formula that just works. The controls are beyond accessible, including scanning items, aiming and shooting guns, and little things like biting the pin out of the hand grenade before tossing it or grabbing a piece of fruit that gets too close and then shooting it with your free hand. You must choose the weapon loadout before each level, so there's some strategy involved, too. It's worth mentioning that there's no motion sickness, since you're not moving around much.
It's nearly perfect, but there's a little repetition in the single-player gameplay over time, as well as in the one-liners by your boss (they really should have recorded more of these or played them less), but overall Shooty Fruity is a must-play game for anyone who likes VR. And because it's rated "Everyone 10+," it will no doubt make parents feel better about tweens playing a shooting game that's about decimating fruit rather than real people as in many other first-person action titles.
Talk to your kids about ...
Parents can talk about violence in games. Should parents be perfectly OK with this game since it's about shooting fruit, which is silly and harmless? Does the game give the thrill of shooting weapons -- at work, no less -- which, combined with its first-person, immersive VR play, can still desensitize impressionable people?
Discuss humorous situations. Does the battle against fruit and other food amuse you, or does it seem odd compared to the shooting aspects of the game?
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