Review – What the Bat? (PSVR 2)
PlayStation VR2 has just recently dropped, and I know exactly what all of you are thinking. I know this because I am thinking the same thing. Finally, What the Bat? can be enjoyed the way the good lord intended! No? No one? Just me? You know what? Screw it. This is my journey, and you are on this with me.
What the Bat? for PSVR 2, is a port of Triband’s 2022 follow-up to Meta Quest 2’s What the Golf?. It is that universal title that everyone will glaze right over as they cherry pick the Horizon‘s, Kayak‘s, Star Wars‘, and even the Pavlov‘s. It’s cheap, it’s indie, it’s cartoony, it’s basic, it’s for kids, and all that is 100% what makes What the Bat? so delightfully fun.
Looking through the eyes of a Fisher Price Little People character, with bats as hands, you quickly solve over one hundred tiny puzzles. You’ll complete five to ten puzzles per pocket-size area, before doing it again in another location. Going from your home to a park, to main street, to a museum, every puzzle takes about a minute to solve, but discovering the solution can take a bit more for some, than others. Maybe it’s as simple as hitting a ball into a trophy. Or maybe it’s flying a paper airplane into a specific part of the level. While most land, there are a few frustratingly handled puzzles.
What the Bat? does nothing to push the hardware of PSVR 2. Honestly, it would have done little to push the hardware of PSVR. The graphics are intentionally flat and childlike, and you are truly playing in a make-believe town made up of a toddler’s toys. Even down to a squeaky elephant, that seems to be your chaperone through the entirety of the game. In a world of artistically simple indie games, this still isn’t a looker. It’s just not meant to be.
Your main focus is straight ahead, but you are still able to view all around you. Stuck in a single spot, you can lean and look around to your hearts content. In fact, this is needed for some levels. The tools you need to move past any level are close at hand, and usually way simpler than you may have originally tried.
Likewise, the sounds of What the Bat? are equally infantile. The sound of a motor, the chirp of a bird, the breaking of glass, catchy background music, and that theme song. That theme song, playing over, and over, and over again!
Oddly enough, What the Bat? did come with some mild motion sickness. It was also my first game in VR since late 2019, so I will give it a pass on that. Just felt strange that a stationary title was causing my stomach to feel even mildly uneasy. However, mild enough that I am perfectly fine saying it was me and my reintroduction into VR.
I get that this review, when taking the pure scoreboard statistics out of context, sounds overly harsh. Please allow me, then, to add the context. When you take simple toy avatars, drop them in a child’s playset, introduce catchy music and a theme song that gets stuck in your head, and you deliver simple and repetitive gameplay, all in two minute long levels that keep you moving along, then something wacky happens. You end up with something extremely fun. You end up with What the Bat?.
Basic in a way an infant’s toys are basic. With intention and design, and with no overcomplication.
Most levels are easy enough to figure out and navigate, with a few deceivingly frustrating mechanics to maneuver.
Must. Get. Theme. Song. Out. Of. Head.
Fun Factor: 9.0
Graphics, sounds, and gameplay is all meant to get you to the next level. It isn’t about the awe and wonder. It is about the hook of its simplicity. And that hook is just plain fun.
Final Verdict: 7.0
What the Bat? is available now on PCVR and PSVR 2.
Reviewed on PSVR 2.
A copy of What the Bat? was provided by the publisher.