A Real Mess Or Is It Actually Sweet And Tasty? – A Look At Sugar Mess


There’s a time for everything. Casual and family games might not be the main attraction for most PSVR2 owners, but they certainly help justify the purchase of the VR set to your better half.

Sugar Mess VR

Sugar Mess has been on my list of games to play for quite some time. One reason is that they went the extra mile by releasing a playable demo a while back. I believe developers who release a demo before the official launch are confident in their product’s quality. This approach builds hype in the “small” PSVR2 market, where we rarely see playable demos or even rolling demos before launch day, if at all.

So, the groundwork was set, and while I did enjoy the demo, I struggled to see how it could be expanded into a full game. The demo had two levels and was essentially a very basic shooting gallery with lovely colours—nothing more, nothing less.


Sugar Mess is beautifully presented throughout the entire game. They even went the extra mile by designing the story and menu system to resemble a children’s pop-up book, complete with page-flipping to continue the story and so on.

The creators responsible for the map, book, UI, and game graphics undeniably demonstrate a strong grasp of how to visually present a game in this genre. Despite its seemingly simplistic details, it radiates abundant charm and, crucially, showcases an immensely appealing aesthetic that captivated me. In essence, it mirrors a delightful, sugar-coated arcade game that would have been perfectly suited for a theme park coin-op in their arcade.

The music throughout the game is well-crafted and quickly creates a cheerful atmosphere from the get-go, some of the music levels even add some properly catchy tunes that you will find yourself hymning to while playing.

The tutorial is easy to follow and clearly designed to introduce you to the game in a sugar-coated way. The weapons have a distinctive look and feel that works well, and the enemies (cakes?) and power-ups are visually appealing. Everything has a vibrant, Candy Crush-like style that’s flashy and enticing.


The big surprise with Sugar Mess to me was that this game is actually more of a mini-game compilation than a gallery shooting type of game, yes I actually never researched much as, yeah, I like to experience games without spoilers so I must admit that once I got to level 3 in the game, well, I got very pleasantly surprised to see that within 3 levels there was already 3 totally different mechanics used.

There’s a lot of variation that is for certain, single screen and on rails shooting galleries as well as music mini-games and yes there are even some puzzles too. Oh, and there’s even a mini-game on an actual arcade machine too, and most if not all play pretty well.

An initial observation I made was regarding the size of the map screen used for selecting levels to play. Early on, I couldn’t help but think, “At this rate, it’ll be over in a heartbeat.”

Sadly, I was correct.

Short And Bittersweet?

First of all, the game isn’t very large, but it does offer some replay value. If you’re into trophies, there’s definitely a lot of replaying to be had. However, trophy hunting isn’t for everyone, and to be honest, achieving S+ rankings on all levels might only add an hour of gameplay for seasoned players.

The arcade cabinet in the game is probably the most challenging part. It’s a basic platform game where you run and jump through various levels, avoiding enemies and collecting candy. Although the gameplay should be relatively simple, the developer chose to make you control everything as if you were on a real arcade machine. Unfortunately, this turns what could have been a somewhat fun experience into a janky mess. Why not let the player control the arcade using analog sticks and buttons instead?

That said, the arcade experience is still enjoyable. The CRT filter is excellent and closely mimics the real thing, but it could have been more fun and, perhaps most importantly, more precise.

Sugar Mess VR

The Verdict…

Sugar Mess – Let’s Play Jolly Battle VR is the kind of game you switch on for some lighthearted fun with family or VR newcomers. While the visuals and audio are perfectly suited for this type of game and the fun is undeniable, it may not hold players’ interest over the long term due to a lack of extras and hidden bonuses. The experience feels quite plain without many unlockable rewards. Additionally, the price on PSVR2 is relatively high compared to other versions, but a 30% discount would make it a great value. Kids love the game, which is key, but I personally feel a bit underwhelmed. This is disappointing because the game has a solid foundation, and with a few enhancements and further development, it could have become a must-have. The current score of 7/10 is closer to 78/100, and with a few patches and additional content or a lower price, it would easily be an 8/10.

Sugar Mess – Let’s Play Jolly Battle VR is available for most VR platforms and at various prices, check the links out, get it on Meta Quest, add it to your wishlist on Steam, or grab it on PICO, or maybe on give the best version a try, the PSVR2 one.

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