Throw Anything (PC) Preview

By Chris Leebody 10.03.2018

Review for Throw Anything on PC

When the phrase "zombie survival game" appears on the synopsis of any prospective title, it tends to lead to a general muted reaction from many these days. The entertainment world has had its fill of zombie related horrors and tales. Of course, the common theme among most of the aforementioned is that they all go for a hyper serious approach and, therefore, tend to get jumbled up among each other. Korean developer Visual Light has gone to the opposite spectrum with the comedy take on the genre. With a blend of a number of genres and an energetic movement style, the name Throw Anything sums up the offering here, which is currently in Early Access on Steam and available for £13.49 on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality. Cubed3 has jumped into the early version and has the lowdown.

The best way to describe Throw Anything is to think of it like a hands-on tower defence game. Actually, in the literal sense that is exactly what it is; with the premise being that the action focuses on huge bumbling zombies, climbing the building some NPCs are situated in, just dying to wreak chaotic havoc upon the occupants. The one barrier to that goal is the player standing tall over the open window.

Screenshot for Throw Anything on PC

Normally, in these kinds of situations, an array of powerful weapons are utilised to save the day. Keeping in tone with the name and style here, the only weapons are the everyday objects lying around each of the five levels that are currently playable so far. A relatively intuitive control scheme allows a quick snap of the controller and suddenly a chair, wok, TV, console, bed and many, many more objects, click into the virtual hand. The question is what to do with them. The answer? Throw them, of course!

The simplicity of the idea and mechanics don't do justice to just how fun and chaotic things soon get. As the zombies soon gather up and as there are 10-15 crawling up the window, it becomes a manic dash to grab as much stuff as possible to hurl out the window. Make no mistake, as well - this is hard. The first level alone is likely going to take many, many tries. This is more than just a throwaway thrill for a few minutes. Even at the early stage it is clear to see that this is the kind of experience that can foster the 'one more play' feeling that many developers crave. The impressive thing is that more than simply chaos and laughter, there are hidden depths of strategy here.

Screenshot for Throw Anything on PC

Objects have different levels of damage logically to their type. Throw a slice of pizza, for instance, and it will likely take a few of those to knock one of the zombies off the building. On the other hand, an electric guitar or lightsaber (yes, they are here, too) are one-hit kill items that also knock other zombies crawling behind. It lends itself to planning - indeed strategy is required on all of the levels. The stages start quietly with just a few enemies. By the end and the introduction of the boss it becomes a mad rush to avoid an invasion of the room and game-over. Therefore, using the weak items early and not wasting the good stuff for the end is key. Items can also be broken apart, such as chairs, which means planning and thought garner rewards.

The impressive number of items and weapons is enhanced when backed up with a really robust physics system, which, as much as it is possible to, lends realistic weight to each item as it drops pleasingly from the window. Make no mistake, this is a great way to get rid of some pent up anger. Additionally it's a great workout because it is guaranteed by the time a level is complete, sweating is inevitable.

Screenshot for Throw Anything on PC

On playing, there are definitely a number of things to tweak and develop before full release; the NPC characters who roam each stage, while able to be humorously chucked out the window, do tend to also get in the way of grabbing items many times. This can potentially lead to the difference between passing and failing the level, which can be immensely frustrating.

Additionally, most of the time the hit detection on items is good but it could be improved. More than once, items can be wasted either by passing through a zombie's arm or by bouncing in a really strange and unnatural way. This is a minor quibble, though, and it never detracted from the fun during the preview process. As mentioned, there are five stages so far, and they are all aesthetically quite different with themes that tailor the weapons on offer, the zombies attacking, and the little gimmicks going on in the background. Hopefully more are being planned. They look beautiful, at least, and the art style, which is described as "flat-shaded" by the developer, is visually vibrant and exciting and lends itself perfectly with the tone of the game. It is reminiscent of another wacky title from yesteryear, Katamari Damacy.

Screenshot for Throw Anything on PC

Final Thoughts

Throw Anything is shaping up to be a potential must-have VR title. The gameplay loop is endlessly fun and addictive, and the visually arresting style automatically brings a real sense of personality and fun. There are a few technical hitches that can be polished and ironed out, and content is sure to be increased. However, the experience on offer is everything that a great VR development needs to be - easy to understand, easy to pick-up-and-play, but a challenging task to master, with hidden strategic depths.

Developer

Visual Light

Publisher

Visual Light

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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