Owlchemy Labs is the developer behind virtual reality titles like Job Simulator, Vacation Simulator, and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality. In other words, Owlchemy has been behind many of the most-watched and played VR games in the industry. The developer has stepped in with a new brightly colored project called Cosmonius High.
This bright adventure puts the player in the role of a new species attending an intergalactic high school with a whole cast of alien personalities. The player is a member of a race of adaptable creatures that gain powers when they most need them. It’s up to you to clean up the school and figure out why everything is going so wrong.
What’s positive about Cosmonius High?
The game introduces the player to the flick mechanic almost immediately. This trick allows players to point at something they want and then flick it to themselves before catching it. While it can take some practice, this is a massive improvement over Owlchemy Labs’ last game, Vacation Simulator. Sometimes teleporting across the room is a hassle if you need one thing, and this game removes the trouble.
Similarly, the physics of nearly everything is impressive. The interactivity that items have with each other, which is really on show in the Chemistry lab, is almost limitless.
The world of Cosmonius High is one of seemingly endless interactivity. The player has access to a range of powers that only grow as they attend the different classes around the school. As they level, the player will be able to use these powers to unlock other parts of the school, unlocking new abilities. Many areas will require backtracking once you have unlocked the right skills to deal with the problem.
Speaking of classes, the level of content put into each room is really fun in a different way each time. While past games from this developer felt like they would sometimes reuse similar content, this game feels like it tries something unique with each new interaction. In addition, many puzzle mechanics work well with the powers to create a captivating test.
The characters are their standouts, each with a unique personality. As with regular high schools, these students have their cliques and drama that will need to be navigated. As you adventure through the halls, you’ll learn about school elections, battles with a dark lord, and a principal who’s a bit of a scaredy-cat. The characters’ interactions feel unique and like they have a purpose.
Also, Blebs. These little round goo guys are the cutest things in the game. You can find the Blebs hiding in lockers or puzzles, and they always seem happy to be around. They always have a smile on their faces and can be interacted with them to create new ones. One of the game’s core mechanics is to catch all the different Blebs around the school.
The sound design also deserves praise due to the level of immersion it adds to the game. Players can be absent-mindedly doing classwork while listening to the students and teachers discuss random things behind them. In addition, the music is genuinely good and sounds like stuff that high school students listen to. All of this makes the player feel like they’re in a different world while playing.
What’s negative about Cosmonius High?
The writing for some of the characters could’ve had another pass, including the main classmate showing you around. Unless the goal was to overload the player with puns in their first class, it could stand to be a little less annoying. Comedy is good, but shoving it all down the player’s throat in the first 10 minutes is a bit strong.
While this game goes far in terms of accessibility, i.e., adjusting the height of stations, some issues persist. For example, clipping and blocking objects make the flicking mechanic difficult, preventing players who are sitting from quickly retrieving whatever they dropped. Also, some of the stations require quite a bit of reach that someone in a chair may have difficulty with.
Lastly, some major scenic events don’t do enough to draw the player’s attention before they happen. One instance includes when entering the Main Hall for the first time. There was a loud noise, but the site was blocked except for a few dust clouds that showed through the floor.
Anyone who’s a fan of Owlchemy Labs’ past games or VR, in general, should check out Cosmonius High. It has a lot to offer children and adults alike with cute characters and diverse puzzles.
The Final Word
Honestly, Cosmonius High is Owlchemy Labs’ best game to date, bar none. The developer took everything that made its past games special and fit it together with master precision to create this one. The sound design, physics, and characters go far to make the player feel like they’re in a real intergalactic high school.
Try Hard Guides was provided with a Meta Quest 2 review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!