Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son VR Review – Return to Punxsutawney

Published by Sony Pictures Virtual Reality (SPVR), produced by SPVR and MWM Interactive (MWMi, formerly MWM Immersive), and developed by Tequila Works, Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son takes us back to Punxsutawney to continue the story 26 years later. The question is, should you return with them or just leave this game stuck in an endless loop.

Read on to find out.

We were first introduced to Phil Collins back in 1993 in what turned out to be a timeless classic. The movie Ground Hog Day found our cynical and sarcastic Phil stuck in Punxsutawney, Pa. in an endless time loop. He was stuck reliving the same day, February 2nd which is Ground Hog Day, over and over and over, until eventually, after an unknown and debatable amount of time had passed (more than 10 years according to director Harold Ramis), he evolved into a likable and decent human being. The movie ends with him and his love interest Rita leaving a Bed & Breakfast on February 3rd, madly in love and contemplating settling down in Punxsutawney.

Groundhog Day: The Sequel

Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son opens up some 26 years later, in that same Bed & Breakfast which Phil and Rita had apparently purchased and turned into their family home. Phil and Rita proceeded to procreate and have two sons not long after purchasing the place, and it’s their son, Phil Connors, Jr. whom this new adventure centers around. Phil Jr. is a videographer with a following on Streamable who had left Punxsutawney for Pittsburgh some years earlier and is in town for a ceremony to honor his dad. It’s February 2nd, it’s Groundhog Day, and yes, he’s stuck in an endless loop.

As big fans of the original movie, the writers did a great job of filling us in on what has happened since we last visited. It was great to see folks like Ned Ryerson again, and even get to talk and interact with him and his family. The cafe also plays prominently into the story, as does the park where the groundhog looks for his shadow. The writers did an exceptional job of weaving the well known stories and lines from the movie into the game, and that gives the game a true sequel feeling. Honestly, the writing is good enough to possibly make a movie out of the game. I know we would watch it.

Fun, Story Driven VR Gameplay

There are several different types of gameplay in the title and it’s all in first person VR. Your main goal in the game, from what we gather, is to solve problems and become a better person. Phil Jr. is a bit of a dick and his dialogue shows that well, but he does improve over time. You have a tablet that keeps notes for you (not sure how it avoids the time wipe everyday, but it does), and will assist you in keeping track of what and how to get things done. It’s a bit of a memory game at times, but once you figure out a scenario, the game gives you shortcuts so you wont have to go through a bunch of steps again in the future. As you solve other scenarios in other areas, some earlier scenarios change a bit and your options change in how to solve these earlier scenarios. The game does a great job with story branching, and the backtracking becomes key to creating further branches that weren’t available before.

Interacting with items plays a key part in the gameplay, and this was frustrating at times. Being ambidextrous is a plus, especially when trying to play bartender, but some things require a precision that isn’t easily achieved with a PS Move controller. There are quite a few minigames within the story, and it would have been nice to be able to practice some of these as stand alone games outside of it. Playing the guitar in an almost Guitar Hero mode requires extra practice, and can be played either left or right handed. When you fail at a mini game, and you probably will, you’ll be able to retry that game immediately without having to start the entire day over. Same thing goes with scenes, so if you make a bad choice or decision, it’s pretty easy to back up and correct it.

Developer Tequila Works did an incredible job with Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son. They took a timeless classic and expanded its character list, created a decent story with them, and brought us a sequel we didn’t know we needed.

8


Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro and PSVR. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.