Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son review. Rinse and repeat

Groundhog Day has some really great mechanics but man, it can be slow at times.

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Virtual Reality games are in something of a unique space right now. Because VR is a new medium, the games don’t need to follow the same narrative rules as more mainstream outings.

Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son has some unique gaming mechanics that are perfectly suited for VR and for the subject matter. For a game built on repetition, it needs something to keep it fresh.

Repetitive but fun

Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son

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$30 at the PlayStation Store



Around and Around

Groundhog Day is a unique and fascinating exploration of gaming in VR. It can also be a little slow, though, so be patient.

The Good

  • Darkly funny storyline
  • A unique puzzle system
  • Graphically fun
  • good length of play

The Bad

  • Some clipping issues
  • Slow to get going
  • No original voices from the movie

What you’ll love about Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son

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While this review will be kept PG, the game itself is very NSFW. The humor is darkly funny, with a lot of swearing and plenty of innuendo. I always felt the original movie could have been much darker than it was, so this is a nice surprise.

It also makes sense as the people playing this are likely to be old enough to have enjoyed the movie, so it makes sense for it to have adult themes. Try drawing on the notepad in Phil Jr’s room and you will instantly see what I mean. It’s a great piece of comedy but not for the young people in the audience.

I managed to chop my hand off in the blender by accident and had to start the day all over.

You play Phil Connors Jr., the son of the original character from the Groundhog Day movie. The OG Phill has just passed away and the town of Punxsutawney is honoring its favorite person with a ceremony. All you have to do is get from one end of the day to the other without killing anyone. Sounds easy, right?

Well, it isn’t. The game forces you to make choices at every turn and those choices have real consequences. Say the wrong thing and people could die; do the wrong thing and you can die. I managed to accidentally chop off my hand in the blender and had to start the day all over.

Of course, that’s the point of Groundhog Day, you have to keep playing the same series of events over and over until you get it right. As you complete small parts of the game, more of it opens up, offering new challenges and additional ways to mess up.

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The mini-game you see above is how you fix the diner’s coffee machine and is so different from the rest of the game it breaks it all up wonderfully. There are more side puzzles, too, which diversifies the otherwise speech-heavy game and, thankfully, when you do figure out what a character needs to be happy you can pre-empt their death to speed things along.

A lot of the game is about repetition, though, so be prepared to open the same window and throw a DVD at the same cat many, many times.

Graphically, the game is a lot of fun. The big heads allow you to see the different emotions and some of the details are lovingly recreated from the movie. Check out the ground to the left while you speak to Ned Ryerson for the first time and you’ll see new concrete where they filled in the whole that Phil stepped in from the original movie. It even has his name carved in the cement.

Little touches like this make this game feel more connected to the Groundhog Day universe as a whole, which is important when the game has none of the original voices.

What you’ll dislike about Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son

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Get used to seeing this loading screen, because you will be looking at it a lot. The game is incredibly slow at certain points, providing tiny amounts of gameplay before another loading screen appears.

At one point I was on this loading screen for 15 seconds — not a huge amount of time, you might say — until I arrived at a scene where my only job was to press the “continue story” button. Once I pressed it, I was in the same loading screen for another 25 seconds.

Groundhog Day: like father and son is an enjoyable mix of video game and movie.

In a game that is almost all talking, with little puzzles and some VR hand waving thrown in, spending 40 seconds in loading screens each time you move between scenes is just plain boring. It slows an already-glacial game down to a snail’s pace.

A lot of the talking cannot be sped through or skipped, so you face the endless repeat of things you already know. Of course, that is the point of the game, right? You are on endless repeat until you achieve your goal. I just wish your conversation pieces were accessible earlier so you can skip through some of the slower dialogue.

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The other big issue is the teleportation system you use to move around. The game only gives you a few options at first, which is fine. It helps steer you to important plot points and allows you to look around to figure out what you need to know.

But you should expect to see views like the picture above quite a lot. The game clips you into usable objects on a semi-regular basis and when using the PSVR — a sometimes picky control system at best — getting yourself out of the fridge, for example, can be frustrating.

Hopefully, Tequilla Works, the developer behind the game, can work this bug out, and I’m sure it is less of an issue on the Steam version with its more sensitive controls.

Should you buy Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son? Yes!

Should you buy Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son? Yes!

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Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son can be slow.Really slow. But it is interesting. It uses the PlayStation VR in ways that other games don’t and that’s what I really like about it.

VR games should push boundaries and be different from regular games. Groundhog Day: Like father and son is an enjoyable mix of video game and movie so the narrative experience is as important as the gameplay mechanics.

4
out of 5


If you enjoy games that break out of the mold and try something new, give Groundhog Day a try. It’s a lot of fun but you will need a lot of patience, too.

Oh, and don’t look at the magazine next to your bed. No really, don’t.

Repetitive but fun

Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son

groundhog-day-reco.jpg?itok=6vTTRmu9

$30 at the PlayStation Store

Around and Around

Groundhog Day is a unique and fascinating exploration of gaming in VR. It can be a little slow, though, so be patient.