Owlchemy Labs have established themselves as big players in the world of virtual reality, with their work on Job Simulator, Vacation Simulator, and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rickality showcasing their skills at crafting quirky yet delightfully creative gaming experiences. Cosmonious High follows that established mandate once again, with the vibrant adventure giving gamers plenty to play around with as they uncover a unique yet wonderful take on the high school environment.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Cosmonious High sees players taking on the role of the new kid at the titular school, though this school is a bit different to the norm seeing as it’s in outer space and full of aliens. Fortunately, you’re a Prismi, a special kind of alien that’s able to adapt to any situation they find themselves in, which is perfect when heading to a new school for the first time. It’ll be needed too, especially with so many weird things occurring at the school… but I’ll leave those for you to discover. It’s a wacky game, but in that brilliant way where you just don’t quite know what you’ll be doing next.
Gameplay revolves around completing tasks around the school, whether that’s by fixing one of the many problems that you’ll find throughout the hallways, helping a classmate find a lost object, or simply attending the classes that are expected of you. These aren’t your conventional school classes though, but instead wacky ones that demand something a bit more *unusual* from students. Luckily, your adaptive senses ensure you can work through these situations fuss-free, with plenty of new powers obtained as you face each problem.
What are these powers, I hear you ask? Well, you’ll be able to completely re-size objects to suit your needs, embrace the elements to put out fires, freeze objects, or even melt things, use telepathy to read the thoughts of just about ANYTHING around you, forge objects out of crystals, or use telekinesis to manipulate the environment from afar, just to name a few. The game isn’t shy in giving powers to the player, with new mechanics constantly introduced into the experience to keep the gameplay fresh. It shouldn’t take players long to see everything Cosmonious High has to offer (I managed to beat the game in around six hours), but there’s never a time when you don’t have something different to play around with.
“It’s a wacky game, but in that brilliant way where you just don’t quite know what you’ll be doing next.”
Cosmonious High really goes all-out in giving the player plenty of tools to play with, but they all have a genuine use. Sure, you can just mess around for hours if you want and there’s loads for players to simply interact with for fun, but there are also an abundance of puzzles to solve that’ll require the use of your powers in a variety of creative ways. Admittedly, there’s nothing too taxing to be found in the game and more often than not you’ll know exactly what you need to do immediately when facing a puzzle, but at least the process of solving it is always fun.
You don’t rely solely on your powers either, with players able to experiment in a variety of ways by utilising the school’s resources. You can use the Chemosophy lab to create concoctions that can alter the world and characters in a variety of ways, for example. A personal favourite here was being able to make objects bouncy (it sounds simple put its weirdly rewarding to throw things and watch them bounce around in class), but making objects sticky or unleashing helium upon characters to make their voices squeaky was unusually satisfying too. Sometimes, these sort of things were necessary to progress in a class, whilst other times you’ll be doing it just for the hell of it.
It shows that Cosmonious High is just as much about experimenting as it is solving the problems in front of you. Whilst you’ve given tasks to complete across the game, there’s just as much fun to be had interacting with the world and seeing what you’re capable of. There are often multiple ways to approach a problem too, whilst it’s even possible to combine your powers in ingenious ways to find all-new solutions. Alternatively, you can just use them to cause chaos… it’s really up to you.
“Whether you’re partaking in classes, helping out a fellow student, hunting down trading cards or the adorable little Blebs to complete your collection, or simply toying with your powers to see what you’re capable of, there’s plenty on offer to keep a big smile on the player’s face.”
Cosmonious High is one of those virtual reality titles that feels perfect to play when you just want to relax and do something silly. Whether you’re partaking in classes, helping out a fellow student, hunting down trading cards or the adorable little Blebs to complete your collection, or simply toying with your powers for funsies, there’s plenty on offer to keep a big smile on the player’s face. The game is simply oozing with charm and its feel-good vibe makes it perfect for both younger and older players.
It really looks the part too, with its cosmic landscapes and wacky alien designs proving wonderful to uncover in-game. It’s packed to the brim with colour (so much so that the real world will feel lifeless when you take your headset off) whilst everything in-game looks sharp. It isn’t the most detailed game world you’re going to come across in virtual reality, but it suits the laid back and playful atmosphere of the experience. Admittedly, the cutesy visual style might put some players off, but I couldn’t imagine the school looking ANY other way.
I really did have a lot of fun playing Cosmonious High, but it is worth acknowledging that the simplicity of the game might not be for everyone. Whilst there’s plenty to do in the game and you have all sorts of powers at your disposal, it does keep things simple and at times feels more like a playbox as opposed to a full-blown meaty experience. In fact, if you weren’t interested in playing around and experimenting, you’d probably be done with the game quite quickly and miss half of the content that it has to offer.
Cosmonious High Review
Cosmonious High offers a charming virtual reality playground that’s packed with wacky things to do and fun powers to experiment with. Whilst there are tasks assigned to you to complete, it’s just as enjoyable to mess around and see what chaos you can cause – whether that’s by using the elements, mixing up a weird concoction of ingredients (to varying results), or simply messing around with one of the many interactive objects in the world. There’s just so much to do and it makes for a really enjoyable experience for players of all ages.
The lack of challenge and the focus on experimentation might not be for everyone, but there’s no doubting that the weird and wonderful world of Cosmonious High is packed to the brim with silly fun.
Developer: Owlchemy Labs
Publisher: Owlchemy Labs
Platform(s): Quest 2 (Reviewed), PC VR