With High on Life launching this week, fans of Rick and Morty will be trying out this fresh sci-fi adventure from the mind of Justin Roiland. But does the new game connect at all with Roiland's beloved animated series, or any of his other projects?
At the Gamescom 2022 conference in August, we asked this very question to Mikey Spano from Squanch Games, Roiland's company that has brought the game to life. Squanch Games, of course, is named after a Rick and Morty gag. So there's one connection for you!
Squanch Games previously brought us Accounting Plus and Trover Saves the Universe, but High on Life is definitely the company's biggest game to date. Read on to find out if it's linked to Rick and Morty at all.
Is High on Life connected to Rick and Morty?
Is High on Life a Rick and Morty game? To answer that question as plainly as possible: no, it is not. But that doesn't mean that you won't like one if you're a fan of the other.
When we asked Spano from Squanch Games if High on Life exists in a multiverse, shared with other Roiland projects such as Rick and Morty, this is what he said:
"Yeah, well, so it kind of is in the same universe as [2019 game] Trover. Like everything is in this sort of Roiland-verse, where it's like, you see the similar ideas in different shows, different games and stuff. But this one is definitely its own new part of that world. We're not leaning on Solar Opposites or anything like that. So really the only similarities are just in the vibe."
Based on that last sentence, then, we wouldn't expect many explicit references or crossovers with Rick and Morty in High on Life. That being said, you'll recognise Justin Roiland's voice (he plays both Rick and Morty in the show, and voices a couple of characters in the High on Life voice cast). Plus, the overall 'vibe' is similar and the sense of humour should chime well with fans of Roiland's previous projects.
For an early example of this, take the time to watch the TV in the main character's living room. Spano says: "You could literally sit there [in the living room]. There's like four full-length movies. There's countless interdimensional cable shorts, probably like seven-plus hours of content you can just sit and watch on the TV."
Read more about High on Life:
- High on Life review - our first impressions
- High on Life cast - all voice actors
- High on Life PC requirements - specs explained
- How long is High on Life? Developer answers
- High on Life multiplayer - co-op sci-fi to play
- High on Life PS4 - why isn't it on PlayStation?
- High on Life achievements - full list to unlock
- High on Life bounties - all missions listed
- High on Life guns - unlock all weapons
- High on Life 2 - sequel hopes revealed
Rick and Morty fans may also be interested to know that Squanch Games takes a unique approach to hiring. Spano told us: "We try to hire all of our writers outside of gaming. So we bring in comedy writers from TV, stand-up and stuff like that. We're teaching them how to apply their writing skills to a game, right? And that's been a really big challenge."
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Spano continued: "It took us years to find the right guy. And we've got our guy now, Alec Robbins. He's our Narrative Director. And he's our head writer. And he changed it for us. Like, he gets it - he gets every aspect of making the game."
Spano went on to add that "the hard part is making sure we get all the voice actors lined up at the right time. And then we have to bring them back for more takes. And it's a big piece of game development that a lot of companies probably don't have. Because comedy's so much harder than just writing a story and delivering it. We've got multiple takes, lots of timing."
So although High on Life may not connect overtly to Rick and Morty, it sounds like a similar comedy approach has gone into making it. Fans of one should enjoy the other, or that would be our hope at least!