Your time starts... very soon! The hotly anticipated Taskmaster VR launches tomorrow (Thursday 13th June 2024).

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The game will allow fans to step into the role of a Taskmaster contestant, pitting their wits against virtual tasks in a digital version of the iconic Taskmaster house, as well as being able to design their own tasks in a separate Creative Mode.

We were lucky enough to be able to ask Alex Horne himself, creator and much-belittled star of the beloved TV show, for some tips and tricks on playing the video game version (which he's been involved with as a producer and a voice actor).

His response was every bit as deadpan as you'd expect. "Well, I got really frustrated, if I'm honest," Horne told RadioTimes.com over Zoom prior to the launch, succinctly summing up his experiences of playing the game.

He continued: "I always thought I'd be a good contestant. And you realise very quickly, 'Oh it's so annoying.' All the tricks that I try to put in the show are in this as well."

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So, after a taste of his own tricksy medicine, what's the actual advice from the man himself?

In his words: "You've just got to keep doing it again and again and again. And there's some physical things, there's some skill, but also, it's always second guessing.

"It's not... it's never simple. So yeah, always just always be suspicious of Alex Horne." Good advice for life perhaps!

One bizarre side effect for Horne himself playing the game is caused by the fact that Horne is also in the game, voicing a stylised video game version of himself (in his usual role as the Taskmaster's assistant).

"I don't really like looking at myself, even on a Zoom," Horne told us. "And I definitely don't like hearing myself. But I don't mind looking at the VR version of me. He's got brown hair, unlike me. It's a version of me from 2010.

"But no, it's sort of flattering to both me and Greg [Davies]. Greg looks awesome, I think. But I think they've really captured [the essence]. I guess the whole point is it's not meant to be photorealistic. It's not... there's no point it being the telly show.

"So yeah, it's a lovely, slightly amped up version of us. And the house is pretty... it really is accurate. But there are certain areas which are slightly swelled, or enhanced, I suppose they're not tied down by reality. So yeah, it was reassuringly fun to look at me and Greg. I would say, though, interacting with me is very weird. From my point of view."

See more from this interview: Why is Taskmaster a VR game? Alex Horne says "we don't want to do rubbish things"

Greg Davies and Alex Horne in Taskmaster VR
Greg Davies and Alex Horne in Taskmaster VR. Scallwag Arcade

We asked Horne if it's cool that the game isn't bound by the rules of real-world physics (or health and safety), unlike the TV show itself.

Horne replied: "Well, I would say it is the same as Taskmaster. When the contestants come in, we say, 'Look, don't feel bound up by the fact that you open a cupboard, and it's only got those things in there'. We can help them in the show. Like, if they want to get something from a shop, we can pause the clock and run and get it, as long as it's within one day.

"So actually, it's really... I really love the game, because it is exactly that – you are completely free to do whatever you want, but you are still constrained by what is in the game. But it's the fact that you can smash stuff without caring. And you can try to find back routes around a task, like in the show.

"So yes, it's freeing, but it's also... it does replicate what we try to instil in the contestants, which is complete freedom to be funny and have fun."

And is Horne looking forward to seeing what fans come up with in the Creative Mode, where they can make their own tasks for other people to try out?

"Yeah," he said. "So I think we're just touching the surface of that really at the moment. So at the moment, it's for you to create your own with your friends and family and your close group.

"And then one day, hopefully, we'll widen that up and see what people come up with and see if we can broaden it to a global thing. But yeah, that was a late idea [in the development].

"And it's brilliant, because people do come up with their own tasks all the time. And often they're much better than ours. So yeah, that should be fun."

Taskmaster VR, developed by Scallywag Arcade, launches on Thursday 13th June for Meta Quest headsets and Steam VR. You can learn more on its official website.

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Check out more of our Gaming coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.

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