Wednesday , 24 April 2024
PSVR2 GamesReviews

HappyFunland Review

Horror is taken to the next level when it comes to VR, and HappyFunland sure looked like it was one that was going to use the potential of the medium to bring you some scares from the trailers released. I have now explored the abandoned theme park, was it as scary as I hoped?

Release Date: March 22nd 2024
Developer: Spectral Illusions
Publisher: Perp Games
Price: US $24.99 / €24.99 / £19.99
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR2
* Code Provided For Review *

SAY NO TO STRANGERS

You meet up with a total stranger named Larry, in the middle of a South Florida swamp, as you take a job to explore an abandoned theme park HappyFunland. Perhaps if you knew about the grisly events that happened there, you wouldn’t have agreed to the job.

NOT SO HAUNTING

The gameplay basically resolves around four main elements that you will be repeating as you make your way around HappyFunland. Figure out how to get into the next area, play mini-golf, ride some of the attractions in the park and taking on some animatronics that have come to life.

When it comes to the actual horror other than the animatronics being alive, the game relies on jump-scares for its main frights. However, I think out of all the ones littered throughout the game, I only really got caught out by three in the two-hours the game took to complete.

One frustration I had with the game was the mini-golf and the lack of any sort of physics for the ball – the reason this became a frustration is, the mini-golf is an essential part of the game and cannot be skipped. Meaning you have put up and persevere with the awful physics that make it feel more of a chore than fun.

For taking out the animatronics, I only located two weapons to use on them – there might be more I just didn’t find. The ones I located were my golf-club and a pirate sword. Both of them will do the exact same damage, so you might just end up walking around with a golf-club all game, as you can play the round of 9-holes and destroy the animatronics with it in-between.

Now for the rides, these are a mix of boat rides, a haunted house, and mono-rail rides through all different settings inline with the area of the park you are visiting. But, they do all come with more adult-related themes than being for little kids, as they promote things like smoking, drinking and drugs. Be it the pirate boat ride, the grisly manner or It’s a Happy Little Grisly World rides – they all have the dark adult undertone to them. While on these rides you will sometimes have to fend off animatronics jumping on to your cart, but some you just have to strap in and be ready for some on those aforementioned jump-scares.

As you load the game you will be greeted with a message warning the game could cause motion sickness, and believe me this is there for a reason. Even as someone who is luckily enough not to be effected by this, even at points I started to feel the symptoms due to some of the rides. At times you will be moving forward as the seats rotate as well, this really threw me off and made me start to feel hot and uncomfortable. So, if you are even a little susceptible to motion sickness, this might not be for you.

Outside of the main gameplay, they also include eighty little Randy Rodent models to break. These are bright orange and you just need to touch these for them to break. I just collected these as I saw them and didn’t really fully explore and found sixty-two, so if you are wanting to complete the trophy for finding all of these I don’t think it would be too much work.

WALT DISARRAY

Spectral Illusions picked a great setting for the game in an abandoned theme park, that gave the feeling of being this urban explorer, as you make your way around Happyfunland, the decaying rides and each themed section. Which all looked great inside of the headset and realistic but cartoony feeling of the location mixed perfectly, to offer chances of some scares.

Mixing the feeling of Disney Land and adult themed humor in the design and audio worked really well for me. With the overall narration on the rides and the recordings found really setting the tone for games humor, to go with what you are witnessing and learning about the sort of place HappyFunland was. However, the repeated lines from the animatronics soon become a little tedious after hearing them for the first few times, it would have been much better if these didn’t talk or had a larger range of voice acted lines.

COMFORT

50%
THE VERDICT
Summary

HappyFunland’s setting and presentation had such potential to make a horror game that could scare the pants off you, however, it falls flat in offering this – with it mainly depending on jump-scares that just weren’t that well placed or effective. Mixed with frustrating mini-golf that is not skippable, melee combat that doesn’t really pack-a-punch and some rides that even caused me that doesn’t get motion sickness feel a bit unwell. I feel the game was playable to me because of the setting and the adult-themed humor ladened throughout game, without this I am not sure if the game would have kept me engaged.

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