I didn’t want to be a writer anymore. Too many letters. I thought I’d pursue a new career path in the number-centric field of accounting. What better way to do that than with Crows Crows Crows and Squanch Games’ new training software for PlayStation VR, Accounting+? It’s clearly better than the standard Accounting software, handily signified by the plus sign that follows the name. What I failed to realize is that Accounting+ is not just an ordinary accounting training program. It’s a whirlpool of Inception-like VR hellscapes that taught me nothing about numbers and made me kill a guy. Maybe it was a bug in the software? The developers really ought to take a look and see if they can get that fixed, because I was really just trying to learn accounting and ended up meeting Satan.
It’s hard to call Accounting+ a game, as much as it is an experience. It’s comically dark and abrasively coarse. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know what I’m talking about. A majority of the enjoyment comes not from interaction, but in listening to the borderline insane dialog that just keeps going and going. It all begins in the main menu. A soft voice, introducing himself as Clovis, walks the player through the early moments, and more often than not I was content just to listen to what sounded like a warm blanket in vocal form. Eventually, I cleared the first area and was put into a basement office. It was time for my accounting career to really begin.
From here, Accounting+ is a spiral downwards into a hellish VR abyss. Each area basically tasks you with finding a VR headset and putting it on, going deeper into VR within VR, within VR, and so on. Having played through the full thing twice, Accounting+ is far more linear than it’s guise might suggest. There’s not much to interact with in each area, and there’s basically one way to move forward. A couple of amusing secrets are scattered through the game. When you find the exceptionally creepy basement stalker level, your dreams will never be happy again.
To be honest, I could probably write a walkthrough guide, including secrets (except the damned impossible to find “secret zoo level”), that would be shorter than this review. This again is where the joy of listening to the dialog is the true entertainment in Accounting+. If you were like me, when you discovered Justin Roiland’s voice doing Car Talk Radio in Job Simulator, it was easy to sit and listen to it on repeat. “Then there’s the tubes, and the, the metal. And the roof is the highest part of the car!” There’s a silly and absolutely absurd nature of seemingly being entirely serious about making a complete joke out of being completely oblivious about something. Much of the spoken word in Accounting+ is the same way.
It all begins with Clovis, speaking endlessly about a point-to-point teleportation system that the deemed “Place Stations”. He goes on and on about how it’s time to “Place Station move, or perhaps, Place Station DualShock 4.” He talks about how the second Place Station, the Place Station 2, is widely considered to be the best Place Station. I seriously listened to the whole thing until the dialog cut out and Clovis stopped talking. For each and every interaction just in this main menu area, good old Clovis had a wealth of lines that got me laughing out loud, even if I never actually learned a thing about accounting.
Later on, it’s the cool kids gang who wanted me to be cool too, but I had to prove myself to them. Torrenting the Garfield movie? Check. “You wouldn’t download a car! You wouldn’t download a car!” one of the anthropomorphic animal gang members keeps throwing out. All three characters are talking over each other, like friends who think their joke is the best, and desperately want to be heard on repeat. Then I picked up the brick, and that was simply too much for them. Their attitudes shifted. Beer, porn, graffiti are all fine, but the moment I had the brick in my hand, they all got scared. Wait long enough before throwing that brick through the window and it starts talking too.
Rinse and repeat this process on each level. The puzzles are never really difficult, or even what I would consider to be puzzles, but the persistently hilarious dialog left me sitting in the headset laughing my ass off. “I’m a judge, and I hereby pronounce you death!” says the VR court judge while trying me for killing the king of VR by slicing him open down the front, after which I used his heart as a VR headset to get to a demon summoning ritual and bring the devil into the world using a fresh rap and a chicken wing made of poop. Seriously, everything I just typed actually happens in Accounting+.
Accounting+ can be quickly completed in under 30 minutes if you breeze through the levels without listening to the dialog. On the average side, you’ll probably spend somewhere between an hour or two with it. Listening to all of the dialogue from every character in every level is probably upwards of three to four hours of recorded voice acting. That’s not including the ever-so-mysterious Zoo Level, which fans are beginning to think is a massive troll by the creators. If it does exist, it’s something that a very, very small subset of people will ever see.
Accounting+ is a novelty, brilliant to experience, but hard to recommend. I was highly entertained by my time with Accounting+, but after this review, I am thoroughly done with it. Repeated playthroughs don’t really offer anything new on the gameplay front, and the dialog becomes less funny on repetition. There’s also the glaring issue that I still haven’t learned anything about accounting. I got yelled at by a guy in a tree. I killed a fat king. I got tried for murder after dying from summoning Satan. I became the Leonardo DiCaprio of VR (GET IT?!? I MADE AN INCEPTION JOKE!), but I never learned a single thing about accounting.
Accounting+ PSVR review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on Standard PS4. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.