It’s long been postulated that virtual reality needs a killer social experience to achieve breakthrough success in the mainstream. Though RADtv only offers local hot-seat multiplayer, it delivers a social experience that’ll have your friends clamouring for another try. RADtv is a hot-seat multiplayer VR game that has you fighting your friends in a series of short minigames, and though it has enough potential to be the life of the party, it still needs some polishing before it gets there.
The actual theme is a little strange, to say the least. You’re sucked into a sentient TV, and the minigames features some downright bizarre scenarios. The character models are also a little off putting - I’m fine with simplified models, but the odd-looking potato-y people sitting on the couch with make you a little uncomfortable.
The modes and gameplay of RADtv are very easy to understand; there are 25 minigames that can be played solo in Challenge mode, or you can take it to multiplayer with 2-6 people taking turns to complete a random selection of minigames before passing the VR headset to the next competitor. There’s a lot of variety in terms of the hot-seat options, where you can set how many games are played in a row, and how many sets your game will have.
As for the minigames, there’s also a decent variety, though they do reuse a few themes. You have everything from football to fighting, shooting to shovelling food into your face. Sometimes the reused themes are done well, such as the shooting games, which can be everything from quickdraw to target practice, but others fall flat.
Eating as many burgers as you can in 10 seconds is fundamentally the same as shovelling the food into someone else’s face, so these seeing both in a rotation can be frustrating. On the note of frustration, there are a number of minor issues with RADtv that begin to build up during your playtime with it.
For one, some items can’t be immediately interacted with until a second or so after the scene has loaded; for games that rely on speed, this can be a real issue. Other minigames run on long after you’ve completed your task because they’re set to end after a time limit, not when you’ve fired every bullet or knocked everything out of range.
The worst offender, though, is the lack of a reset button in Challenge mode. Each minigame has four challenges and completing all four will unlock a unique set of virtual hands for you and your friends to equip. At least one of these objectives is usually very tough, though, and without a reset button, retries get stale quickly.
Take, for instance, the bottle shooting minigame: you have a challenge to shoot every bottle without missing a shot, but even if you miss the second shot you take, you need to wait until the timer runs out before you can take another try. Couple this with the loading transitions which could stand to be a lot shorter, and you’re can be waiting 15 seconds between 5 second attempts at a challenge.
Generally, the minigames are fun when experiencing them once or twice in the multiplayer Tournament mode, whether it’s uncorking champagne bottles with a katana or killing zombies with vinyl records, there are certainly some wacky options.
It’s a real shame, though, that Tournament mode doesn’t let you choose which minigames to play - or, better yet, which to avoid. I found the throwing games weren’t very user-friendly, particularly for newcomers to VR, so a simple veto list would go a long way. That isn’t necessarily a direct fault of RADtv, though, as throwing isn’t something that feels intuitive in 99% of VR titles.
Put simply, RADtv has the right idea, but fumbles on the execution. For short play sessions with friends, it’s a lot of fun and well worth the £6.99 asking price, but the minutiae that starts off as small frustrations will likely lead to you putting the game down entirely after a while. Hopefully some quality-of-life patches will be released soon to remedy these problems so the underlying entertainment can shine through unimpeded, as the developers have already been pretty responsive to our feedback.