Video gaming

Game review: Accounting + is a weird and wacky concept that is hilarious VR fun

Originally released for the HTC Vive, the gamer is taken on a surreal journey of discovery that begins routinely in an accountant’s office, but before long, heads into various bizarre and surreal scenarios

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 8:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 January, 2018, 8:48pm

Accounting +

Crows, Crows, Crows & Squanch Games

4/5 stars

So, I’m standing in the middle of what looks like a wood, in one hand holding a battery that I plucked from a climate control machine, and in my other, the receiver of a corded phone attached to a pole.

My attention is divided between my bosses who are yelling at me down the phone, telling me that I should kill myself and a tree dwelling creature I see nearby who is cursing at me for invading his sanctuary.

Swivelling my head between the phone, the battery, and the irate property owner, I feel a spring of riotous energy that rarely, if ever, subsides for the rest of my playing of Accounting +.

Originally released – minus the plus-sign – for the HTC Vive, Accounting + is a VR game created by William Pugh, Dominik Johann and Justin Roiland. The PlayStation VR version doubles the content of the original, making it ideal for a relaxed single-session playing.

Pugh, who co-created The Stanley Parable, and Roiland, who co-created the Adult Swim animated show Rick and Morty and voices the title characters, proved what an excellent creative team they are with Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist. Similar to this previous collaboration, Accounting + is a funny game that benefits in no small part from Roiland’s vocal charms.

The game begins with an endearingly patronising introduction from “Clovis”, who introduces the game’s movement and object manipulation systems, neither of which should pose a problem to a novice player.

From the sparse introductory environment you’re whisked to a windowless, cabinet-cluttered office lit by a single ceiling panel of fluorescent light. A ringtone drones throughout the veritable white-collar dungeon until you push a button on a desk to accept an incoming call.

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On the other end of the line are your amped-up bosses who welcome you on board as the new accountant. Clamouring to get you to work, they direct you to find the accounting cartridge, which supposedly has the programme on it that you need to start finessing the numbers. Naturally enough, it can be found beneath a potted plant.

Inserting the cartridge into the appropriate machine on your desk gifts you with a pair of VR goggles. Placing them on your virtual head triggers a white light and a spirit-lifting crescendo of ambient sound.

Upon being transported to the woody area mentioned earlier, it becomes apparent that the accounting programme you fired up was mislabelled or malfunctioned or something of the sort. At any rate, you’ve stumbled into the wrong VR world.

Accounting + shows what a great vehicle VR can be for situational comedy. At this stage in its evolution (though more powerful wireless headsets are due out soon), VR is particularly good at placing people in small environments where the need for rendering ambulatory movement is minimal since real-world concerns such as spatial limitations and dangling cords are still an issue.

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Enlivening snug environments with visual gags is one of the better ways to create fulfilling experiences that leverage the young medium’s strengths. Given that, I’m sure that Accounting + will be one of the three or four VR games I will gladly push on my friends when they come over.