Bluey seemed to come out of nowhere when it debuted to audiences five years ago, instantly capturing the eyes of both children and their parents as complex storytelling mixed with simplistic and accessible entertainment. The show has won a good amount of praise and awards, which means it should be a perfect fit in the video game landscape. Enter Bluey: The Videogame. Does this little release have enough to deliver to the same audience, or is it yet another licensed title that falls short with its adaptation? Let’s find out.
The story of Bluey: The Videogame is rather short. Players take on four episodic stages, featuring different locales from the television show as they hunt down pieces of the map with Bluey, Bingo, Mum, and Dad. There is some lovely dialogue at times and a small sense of progression, but just when it seems to get going – its over. You see, instead of borrowing a lot from the television product, this game just kind of happens. Sure, the plot is there and it has some charm, but its just kind of like an empty episode in comparison to the shorts we would typically see. The show may have warm sentiment, but the game simply feels like its main purpose is to be a playground for kids, which is a bit short-sighted as a whole.
I mentioned playground for a reason when speaking about Bluey: The Videogame. Up to four players can play at once, and objectives are usually based around moving items and picking up collectibles. There really isn’t much more than that. Sure, things mostly work as they should and movement is simple enough, but there isn’t a lot to do here other than take part in a handful of mini-games, with a total of maybe an hour of actual gameplay that doesn’t feel repetitive. Even then, its stretching it to say that this title feels anymore than a mobile release, made to simply distract a kid for a few moments at a time. Sure, its made for kids, but even then – the game still feels boring.
The collect-a-thon nature of Bluey does have a bit of charm, even if the obstacles are few. Players all stick mostly together, roaming in one section to find an item or a new path, which they will move an obstacle or snag a new toy before the game progresses forward. I wish I had more to say, but other than some odd stuttering and mild cumbersome movements, there isn’t a lot to actually do here. Think if you had Mario, and you just got to move around in the world and collect coins. No Bowser, no challenge or threats – just movement to move with something mild to do. The co-op is a major plus, and again, kids will probably still have fun being Bluey and his family, but the depth of the show simply doesn’t translate here.
The audio is mostly nice. The cast reprise their roles and most of the dialogue (though still uninteresting) fits the bill well enough. The soundtrack is also pleasant and upbeat, but there isn’t a lot of it due to the short length of the game itself. Again, the recurring theme of length and content is the main factor holding the game back, and in terms of audio – I feel like a lot more could have been done to flesh this game out, despite it being over so quick.
The visuals match the show perfectly. Those popping colors, the lovely animations – they all translate to play-ability well. There are some visual glitches and shortcuts made that are a little limiting, such as characters poofing in and out to catch up with others and stuttering that kind of kills the immersion, which is very noticeable due to how much the standard models capture the actual product.
Bluey: The Videogame is about as basic as you can get. There isn’t a lot to do, and its a shame that the developers here sold the property so short, as there is a lot of potential that seems to go unused, as if the game wasn’t finished and just kind of pushed out for the holidays. That said, this is a game for kids and small ones will likely not care as they get to run around and interact with items, even if adults may notice the lack of substance. There is something special about this dog and his family, but this release really isn’t the way to start a line of video games as it simply misses the mark on the whole “entertainment” portion overall.
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