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Secret of Retropolis Review
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The Secret of Retropolis Review VR

A noir VR adventure where you become a drunk robot detective!

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Let’s get started on this The Secret of Retropolis Review.

What is The Secret of Retropolis?

The Secret of Retropolis is a VR narrative adventure game. It blends classic point-and-click adventure with a crazy, wacky, futuristic storyline. You play as Philip, a robot who was a former police officer now turned private eye. In typical cliche fashion, a lady robot walks into your office and needs help. You need help paying the rent so of course, you will take the case. Then it’s off to adventure in this film-noir VR game.

Who Makes The Secret of Retropolis?

Peanut Button LogoThe Secret of Retropolis is made by indie developers Peanut Button. Peanut Button is 3 guy friends who created this VR game in their basement. No Seriously! Here is a photo of the guys. PeanutButtonTeam

They have created a few other VR experiences but The Secret of Retropolis is their major release.

Which VR Headsets is The Secret of Retropolis On?

The Secret of Retropolis is available on Steam VR, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest 2.

The Secret of Retropolis Gameplay Review

The Secret of Retropolis is a part game, part movie-like experience. You will appear in different locations and meet various characters and environments. Objects and characters you can interact with will be highlighted when you move over them.

It is an enjoyable experience to hear what Philip the robot PI thinks about the stuff going on around him.  There is also a bit of a mystery to work through and solve. As with all mysteries, you will be trying to figure out exactly what is going on. Nothing is too complicated here in terms of puzzles. There is just a small amount of challenges you need to figure out with the dialog and only a limited number of items in the room available to interact with. It’s even pretty cliche at times. All of it was still very amusing though.

I want to highlight a few VR special moments that I found were exceptionally well done with no spoilers.

There is a moment when you first start the game and you can see yourself in a mirror. Anyone who has played VR Chat knows that seeing yourself in a mirror in VR makes you feel very immersive in the experience. You also have a moment when the game starts where the retro Viewfinder floats onto your head which is pretty neat. Finally at the end credits where you can pick up a “screw” and smoke it is also pretty fun. Even for non-smokers. 🙂 It’s just little touches like these that kick your VR immersion up a few notches. Well done!

Voice acting and Very funny dialog

The characters will have a certain amount of dialog options for you to choose from. The voice acting and character lines are one of the highlights of the game. The developers went above and beyond to create some pretty witty and funny options. In order to get to the next part of the story, you will need to figure out what you need to do in the current scene and you can safely pick through several of the choices to experience them all. I smirked many times playing this game.

Art Style

The art style in The Secret of Retropolis is really quite different and artistic. It’s pretty clear that the team was not shooting for perfect realistic AAA blockbuster graphics and instead choose cartoonish, even purposely bad or strange at times graphics to make a different kind of retro feeling VR world. This is not a bad thing in my opinion. It definitely had an old-school feel to i,  bringing up thoughts of classic equally bad graphic point and click adventures. Considering retro is part of the title of the game, I’m pretty sure that is what the team was going for.

Who Will Enjoy Playing The Secret of Retropolis?

The Secret of Retropolis is rated T for Teen. There are fantasy themes as well as mild blood, suggestive themes, alcohol, and tobacco. Anyone who enjoys adventure games with classic puzzle-solving elements or really witty, funny dialog and storyline will enjoy this game.

What Games are similar to The Secret of Retropolis?

The Secret of Retropolis is similar to old-school classic point-and-click adventures like Maniac Mansion or Secret of Monkey Island. They use a similar type of off-wall, over-the-top humor. Similar VR Games would be Sam and Max, Madrid Noir, and Flow Weaver.

How long is The Secret of Retropolis?

I played the entire game in about an hour. It is a pretty short game. The puzzles are not overly difficult, and usually just required you to think outside the box or clicking around a bit. It seems like the developers could add additional chapters to this series in the future, and I hope they do!

Can you play The Secret of Retropolis Sitting Down?

Yes! The Secret of Retropolis is ONLY played sitting down. The initial screen will require that you sit down to play. If you move too far outside of the seated area the game will require you to recenter.

Does The Secret of Retropolis cause motion sickness?

You play The Secret of Retropolis in a stationary environment. The locations will change around you. There is no in-game movement. Instead, everything is done by point and clicking. When you do this your super long robot arms will shoot out to interact with items from where you are. It is an interesting way of dealing with motion sickness issues.

The Secret of Retropolis should not cause any motion sickness issues.

Final Thoughts On The Secret of Retropolis Review


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