Doki Doki Universe (a PS Vita game review)

[credit: Giantbomb]

[credit: Giantbomb]

This little treasure is available on the Vita, PS3, and PS4. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of it at first glance, but the characters child-like drawn appearance and the concept behind it lured me in. I was not disappointed.

Quick Summary: You play as a robot QT3 who suddenly finds himself as a subject as a study after years of waiting for someone to return to him (the opening is actually kind of sweet, so don’t want to ruin it with details here!). An alien named Jeff tells QT3 that he is chosen to represent his entire line of robots. See, your line is getting recalled to be scrapped because you lack ‘humanity’ and thus obsolete to other more advanced robots. Now, Jeff has to discern how much humanity you really have and let his superiors know. If you fail, scrapping! If you succeed…not scrapping. Thus QT3 begins his adventure going to other planets, learning lessons, and finding out about his humanity.

But wait there’s more! Another aspect of this game is that it also psychoanalyzes you, the player! That’s right, in between planets you can stop at little asteroids and take personality tests, only three to five questions generally, and find out what kind of person you are. The more tests you take, the more ‘accurate’ a personality basis it will give you.

So on to the break down. I really enjoy the simplistic visuals and audios of the game. It makes it up beat, happy, and rather relaxing to play. The controls aren’t too hard to figure out (though at times I accidentally throw people because of miss placed finger positions), the missions themselves are easy, and the people you interact with are usually interesting.

Of course the little personality quizzes are fun, the questions quirky and humorous often, and since they are short you can do a handful in a span of minutes if that is all the time you have to spare. Also, surprisingly accurate (for myself and fiance at least). It was fun to compare how similar and different we were based on simple questions, and how we felt they were true. Right vs Left brain balance, Shy vs Confident scale, etc.

There is also the option of revisiting previous planets and interacting with its occupants again, because certain ‘gifts’ you receive can only be done by pleasing or upsetting characters.

Gifts are things you can decorate your own planet with such as houses, plants, gargoyles, tombstones, snowmen, etc. You also find/earn stickers in which to please or upset people. There is a counter for each planet and it is nice enough to tell you which is to be found in the area and which are to be given by the people. You can also be rewarded different outfits for QT3 and mode of transportation (such as a whale, a wedge of cheese, etc) when you level up.

The humor is a mix of simple and witty, some of it not kid friendly, though at times the simplicity and repetitious quick missions can be a little exasperating. This is a game where you play for twenty or thirty minutes then come back to it later. Not to say there is no challenge. You have to figure out exactly what to give people to get on their good or bad side. Sometimes it isn’t always straight forward. For example: I needed to get a character upset with me to give me a gift, and they hated cute things. However they didn’t seem to mind beautiful things. So I would try to give them a rainbow-but that was beautiful not cute. So then I would try a floating heart. Strike out. This can get a bit irking since if you mess up too many times you get a backfire. However, this small hiccup isn’t enough to really make the game all that unbearable.

The only other real complaint is the controls. A lot has to do with touch, on the front and back, for greetings and moving objects. Sometimes I feel like I’m making the right motion, but if it is not the right speed it won’t register. Or if I’m off a bit it will do another gesture. Also, when I’m trying to move a background object, if a character is standing too close (but what I feel is a reasonable distance away) I may accidentally pick them up instead and upset them. Or, as I mentioned, throw my own character about.

If your looking for something quirky, abstract, and easy going, this could be a good game for you. Easy to pick up and easy to put down. Below are a couple of pictures to show a snapshot of a quiz and some more of the universe. (All photos below credit to IGN.com)

Rating: 8/10.

[credit: IGN.com]

doki doki one doki doki two dokiscreenspace1jpg-50ebc3_640w

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