Border Bots VR | Review

Putting on a VR headset can cause enthusiasm for various reasons.

Engaging in the act of flying like a powerful superhero or exploring a post-apocalyptic world while eliminating zombies alongside your loyal canine companion, for instance. In fact, even participating in a peaceful fishing excursion or showcasing your culinary skills in a high-pressure fast-food establishment can satisfy desires that may otherwise be unattainable.

I have never considered the idea of using virtual reality to pretend to be a middle-level bureaucrat, as there are countless other exciting options available. Is it conceivable that Border Bots VR has managed to turn mundane office work into an enjoyable recreational activity?

Stand in that line, and I will provide you with the answer within 5-7 business days.


In Border Bots VR, players take on the role of the first person to return to a workforce that was previously automated. Their task is to assist in managing a sudden increase in robots that are behaving unpredictably. Although there is a basic storyline explaining why the player has been given the responsibility of operating a robotic customs booth, it is fairly simple. However, as the game progresses, the plot develops and introduces occasional narrative elements that involve dealing with unfriendly coworkers and robotic criminals.

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During breaks from work, players retreat to an apartment equipped with interactive elements and house bots for interaction. These features aim to enhance the game’s depth, similar to the ones found in the impressive Startenders. Unfortunately, Border Bots falls short in executing these activities effectively, as they lack meaningful engagement. Regrettably, they ultimately serve no purpose.

After approximately an hour, the narrative and home settings transition from being a vague distraction to becoming irritating. There are a few minutes of obligatory time-wasting activities between levels that prevent immediate gameplay. The dialogue scenes cannot be skipped, which adds to the frustration. Ultimately, the developers’ well-intentioned efforts to create an immersive world end up detracting from the main gaming experience.


The main gameplay loop of Border Bots VR is a blend of time management and job simulation. Every day, players go back to work and encounter a queue of robots attempting to enter the city. Your task is to ensure their eligibility by evaluating various requirements and then stamping their documents accordingly.

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At first, you will only need to verify basic information such as the expiration date on their passport or their assigned classes. However, as you advance, the inspections become more extensive and time-consuming. This includes tasks like removing fake badges and testing for fire resistance, as well as searching for prohibited items concealed in hidden compartments. There are various methods that mischievous robots can employ to avoid being detected.

New requirements are continuously added, and rules will change daily, keeping you on your toes and keeping the gameplay relatively fresh. By the time you hit about day 15 of your career, there is so much going on that trying to move quickly requires some fervent concentration. For gamers who enjoy games like Traffic Jam, Startenders or Job Simulator, there is some good, clean casual fun to be had with Border Bots VR, especially when played in smaller doses.


Where Border Bots trips over itself is in some fundamental design choices that effectively rob the game of tension and create strangely apt “art imitates life” scenarios.

Each level gives the player seven minutes to process as many robots as they can. Points are given for correct assessments and are multiplied for consecutive accurate work. At the end of each day, a score is calculated and the player is ranked on the leaderboard for that level. However, this is where the game’s downfall lies.

After several hours in the game, I have yet to find any way to return to these missions to either check my place on the leaderboard or try the level again to compete for a higher score. What this does is effectively remove any impetus for you to work swiftly.

Who needs to work quickly and accomplish outstanding outcomes? Who cares?

Without the chance of meaningful recognition for being successful, I quickly found myself going through the motions, riding out the clock until my shift was done. Pedantically luxuriating over each detail with no care for how that impacted my queue of patiently waiting robots. Soon enough I felt like a jaded frontline bureaucrat, effectively becoming what they call in the UK, a Jobsworth.

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And what awaited me as a reward after my day? I received a small token of appreciation before heading back to my modest apartment with no interesting activities except for taking a nap, showering, and repeating the same routine the following day. Apologies, but despite the appealing mechanics and quirky bots, spending a few hours in this repetitive cycle brought me close to experiencing a virtual mid-life crisis.


Border Bots VR is a bright colorful affair that uses a vibrant cartoonish style that is an excellent match for the game’s tone. The art direction and overall design of the game world are thankfully clear and distinct, a necessity for the attention to detail required for the gameplay. The futuristic cityscape that adorns the game is compelling despite being pure window dressing.

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The sound is reliable, providing a satisfactory variety of sounds to create a futuristic atmosphere. The voice acting is well-executed, resembling the style of a Saturday morning cartoon. Overall, these elements fit well with the game’s characters, although they do not stand out as particularly exceptional. Nevertheless, the game’s audio and visual aspects are overall satisfactory.


Border Bots VR is a unique twist on the Job sim/Time management genre that offers a casual, `fun for the whole family’ experience. From a technical standpoint, Border Bots VR achieves what it sets out to do, delivering a light-hearted gamification of frontline bureaucracy. Despite a variety of novel mechanics that do their best to add some frivolity into the proceedings the reality is that even in a colorful, whacky, robot-filled setting, being a low-level civil servant is just not that much fun.

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