Having spent a concerning amount of hours searching for Daddy Pig’s spectacles and brushing shoulders with Pedro Pony for the umpteenth time in Peppa Pig: The Game, I knew for a fact that the likes of Artax Games’ Bluey: The Videogame wouldn’t be too much of a bother. But then, why would it? After all, with the Australian poster child of kids television sharing a litter of valuable life lessons and easy-to-digest characters, I knew for a fact that I wouldn’t have all that many molehills to clamber over. And while I barely fit into the target demographic on this one, I do share a love for all things wholesome and kind — which meant a romp through the latest episodic adventure across Brisbane was a bit of a no-brainer. Plus, I had a six-year-old who practically guilt tripped me into picking it up. Go figure.
It is worth mentioning that, as far as beginner-friendly video games go, Bluey is probably one of the best anchor points you could hope to find in this day and age — especially if you’re looking to introduce a younger player to the fundamentals of gaming before delving into something bigger, tougher, and far more complex. In other words, if you happened to breeze through the likes of Peppa Pig: The Game without any major issues, then you’ll no doubt find yourself right at home with Artax Games’ newest video game adaptation.
So, what more do you really need to know about Bluey, other than the fact that it’s a short episodic video game adaptation of the acclaimed TV series? Well, if you have made it this far, then be sure to read on for all the extra bits and bobs. Let’s get right into it.
Welcome to Brisbane, Folks
To put you in the picture, Bluey: The Videogame is a four-piece episodic adventure game in which up to four players take on the roles of the Heeler family. As one of the four titular protagonists, players are able to explore several of the show’s key locations, including the Heeler household, as well as the park, beach, and a selection of other vibrant landmarks taken from the hit show. There are collectibles to uncover, friends to talk with, and mini-games to partake in, effectively making it the all-in-one Bluey experience on a bite-sized platform.
The story (if you can even call it that) is this: Bandit and his brothers have left behind a selection of treasures—trinkets which, surprise surprise, you must locate and obtain either alone, or with up to three friends in a local co-op mode. In each expedition, you will travel to one of several iconic locations, and have the opportunity to uncover hidden collectibles, which can be transformed into additional outfits for each of the four playable characters, as well as complete various platforming segments and dialogues — the latter being fully animated and voiced by the original cast.
To put it simply, working through Bluey: The Videogame is a whole lot like tuning in to watch the actual show: there are plenty of cutscenes to enjoy, as well as some camaraderie between the characters and the viewers. Again, it moves on a similar wavelength as the likes of Trolls, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, and perhaps any other interactive video game adaptation of a popular kids TV show, for that matter. So again, while the gameplay is somewhat light, it certainly breaks the fourth wall between the show and the streamer — if only just.
Granted, Bluey isn’t the lengthiest game in the world; it can be swept under the rug in just over an hour, if you’re breezing through the objectives and neglecting the additional collectibles and cosmetics. If, however, you’re the sort of gamer who strives to see all there is to see and do all there is to do, then you could, with a little luck, squeeze an extra thirty or forty minutes out of the story. For the most part, though, it’s an incredibly straightforward, in-and-out sort of ordeal, which means you won’t need to travel back to do it all again in a hurry. Does this lack of replay value make it worth the price tag? That depends. How much do you really like Bluey? If you love it enough to fork over $40 — then you’re golden.
Of course, the story is one thing to stow away under your belt. After that, it’s merely the case of collecting the leftover stickers and crossing the final t’s and dotting the i’s. Again, you can do all of this in two hours, so if you’re hungering for a bulky experience with all the trimmings, then you’ll probably be a little disappointed. If you’re in the company of someone who prefers to play for shorter periods of time (as in, ten or fifteen minutes at a time), then you could, at a push, get a good four or five sittings out of it.
The good news is, anyone can pick up and play through Bluey, what with its controls and mechanics being simplified and somewhat bare bones. So again, if it’s an introductory course you’re looking for, then you could certainly do a lot worse than this one. The only real downside, understandably, is that you’ll need to figure out who’s playing whom.
There is a slight downside to this whole charade: the audio bugs, and how often they spoil the overall gameplay experience. Although not present in every portion of the game, there are a surprising amount of technical issues in Bluey: The Videogame — especially during certain episodes in the story mode. Nothing a few patches won’t be able to fix, true, but for a $40 game, and not to mention one with watered-down graphics and entry-level mechanics, you’d expect a great deal more.
I will put my hands up and say this: I only had to reboot the game once during my sixty-minute slog through the campaign, simply down to the fact that, well, a couple of screws were clearly loose somewhere in the framework. Again, not the best thing to have to deal with, but what’s a game in 2023 without a few bugs, eh? It shouldn’t be a thing — but it is, and Bluey is just one of the many, many products that comes with its own visible scars and technical misfires.
Of course, any younger person who’s never really experienced a video game before will more than likely gloss over such issues without so much as a second thought. For the vast majority, however, it’s depressingly easy to see just how broken certain parts of the game are — particularly in the audio department, which is anything but complete and slippery smooth. Again, not great.
If you’re a bit of a die-hard fan of the Heeler family and the Bluey franchise, in general, then there’s a strong chance that you’ll fall for the latest video game adaptation, too. Sure, it’s a little short, but thanks to its asking price being well below the standard tag, it’s also hard to complain all that much, either. In any case, it’s worth picking up — if not for the full price, then at a discounted rate at some point in the future.
For me, I found that the four episodes just weren’t long enough. At just sixty minutes, I found myself tying up loose ends and preparing to part ways with Bluey and the folks over in Brisbane — at which point I felt as if the game was only really just finding its feet and rhythm. Truth is, there could’ve been another five or six episodes sprinkled over the top, if only to extend the story enough to reach the four-hour milestone. The reality is, though, that the game just isn’t built for sessional play; it’s a one-and-done gig, and nothing more.
To cut to the point, Bluey: The Videogame isn’t about to reinvent the wheel, nor is it about to turn new players into fledgling Esports prodigies, either. Having said that, it does just enough to maintain the momentum for a short period of time, which is all anybody can really ask of a game that’s aimed towards a younger, less experienced demographic. What more can I say? It’s Bluey: The Videogame — take from it what you will.
Bluey: The Videogame Review (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch & PC)
If you’re able to excuse the lack of polish, among a couple of technical and audiovisual bugs, then you’ll no doubt find a lot to love in Bluey: The Videogame. Again, it isn’t going to change the world — but for younger gamers, it’s sure to leave a good impression.