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Bluey: The Videogame Review

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It’s got to the point where I will tell random people in the street to watch Bluey. I think there’s something wrong with me. I have such a deep love for it that other kid shows seem crass in comparison. That love is all-encompassing: I love how true-to-life the parents are, as they desperately try to gather up the energy to play make-believe with the kids; I love how the kids aren’t annoying or self-centred (looking at you, Peppa), nor are they obviously gendered; I love the music, the animation, the soft Australian accents, the ideas it gives me for entertaining the kids – everything.

Phew. Got that off my chest. Now I can get on with the review, and you can pocket the knowledge that I may not be the most impartial person to review a tie-in video game. You can imagine how militant I was that I was going to be the one who reviewed the thing. 

Bluey: The Videogame comes from a reassuring publisher. Outright Games are a safe pair of hands who have a very recent streak of bringing loved worlds to life for kids. Of particular note this year have been PAW Patrol World, which finally let our young pair explore Adventure Bay, and Peppa Pig: World Adventures, which – for all its technical hitches – impressively recreated the TV show. It genuinely felt like you were in the cartoon. 

bluey the videogame review 3
Most definitely, Bluey: The Videogame!

Bluey: The Videogame is quick to reassure. It’s in the character select screen that we realised that Outright Games and developer Artax Games knew what they were doing. It recreates the opening musical number of the show, letting you pick your character one at a time (Bluey: The Videogame is four-player local co-op) in time to the music. Bluey! Bingo! Mum! Dad! You can probably hear it as we write. 

The game very loosely attaches itself to a quest. Bluey and family find one-third of an old treasure map, made by Bandit and his brothers when he was young. He’s too old to remember what they were hiding or where, so a mystery begins to coalesce. The first job is to bring the map back together, which means meeting Bandit’s brothers, and then it’s off in search of the buried treasure. 

These form episodes that introduce you to the game’s few areas. There’s the Bluey house, of course, which is painstakingly recreated for you all to explore. Seeing all of the rooms joined up made us realise how frigging big the place is: Bandit and Chilly are clearly earning a wad of cash (or there’s more than enough space in Australia to sprawl, which may also be true). It’s huge. 

Then there’s the backyard, confusingly presented twice: you can explore it as an addendum to the house, or you can choose to explore it separately, with slightly different stuff littered around it each time. Aside from getting re-use out of the same assets, it’s all rather unnecessary. Less reused are the playground, beach and creek, rounding out all of the explorable areas. 

You and the other players effectively get a choice: on one path, you can progress the story. On this path, you’ll get lovely, joyful moments as episodes of the show intrude on the main quest. Gecky, the toy lizard, is stuck to the ceiling and you need to place some pillows beneath him in case he falls while you’re out. The chatterbox toy, every parents’ nightmare, needs to be found and turned off for the sake of the parents’ sanity. They’re neat familiar touchstones for fans of the cartoon, and they introduce mechanics like pulling and pushing, while also giving you toys to play with. 

bluey the videogame review 1
Bluey’s world, left to explore

The other path is to say ‘to hell with it’ and just explore. This is the real nugget of gold in Bluey: The Videogame. Because the developers know full well that most kids just want to exist in Bluey’s world, and tinker with it where it makes sense. If your little uns just want to see what’s in each room, then nothing is hidden or cut off. If they want to open cupboards, slide down slides, or play with the crabs on the beach, then they can. There are simple prompts to do all of them.

To keep parents onside, there are collectibles to find throughout. Three leafbugs, hockey sticks, newspapers and cakes are hidden in each region, and sparkles make it evident where exactly they are. It gives a little motivation and direction to the sandbox play, and me and my wife found ourselves mopping them up once the kids had gone to bed. It’s possible to water plants to turn them into sticker collectibles too, which Bluey: The Videogame fails to shout about. 

The makers of Bluey: The Videogame are also complete trolls – griefers of the highest order. Because, at any point, Bluey and Bingo can sidle up to Bandit and Chilly and jump on their shoulders. Suddenly, the parents are under the kids’ control, and the parents can only tap B to throw them off. My wife hated it, as the kids wouldn’t leave us alone and we just had to sit there while they rode us off into the sunset. But you could see the tearful joy on their faces, bless ’em. 

It’s not all barbies and galahs, though. Bluey: The Videogame is rough around the edges technically, and it caused various furies and the odd early finish. Characters got stuck on scenery. We had issues with actually choosing our character: it wouldn’t register certain pads or inputs, particularly on Quick Resume, so we had to Quit and start again. Collecting anything leads to the Sticker Book popping up, and it takes four-to-five seconds for a button prompt to appear to remove it. We stared at that Sticker Book far longer than we wanted. There’s more to this list, as certain collectibles seem to reject your advances to collect them, and the manner in which everyone is kept on screen at one time is flawed, shall we say.

bluey the videogame review 2
Want to water some plants?

It’s also emptier than we expected. If you love the characters of Bluey, you will get precious few opportunities to interact with them. The regions are ghost-towns, with only the family in them. It’s also got an annoying habit of presenting you with exciting things – a pelican! A zipline! – and then not letting you jump on them. They’re a tease: these things look like a whole lot of fun, but they turn out to be purely dressing. 

The technical hiccups and the lack of interaction in Bluey: The Videogame caused our four-player team to scream “awwww” in disappointment. But it’s testament to the game’s authenticity that they often wheeled away and played with something else in the world instead. From the art to the voice-acting to the painstaking recreation of the Bluey house: it’s all exactly as it should be. You’re led into the world of Bluey and told to play. For younger players, that will be music to their little dingo ears.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Completely authentic
  • It’s the Bluey world, ready to explore
  • Loads of collectibles to find
Cons:
  • Keeping all players on screen is a struggle
  • Not a huge amount of game time
  • Technical issues throughout
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Outright Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 17 November 2023 | £34.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Completely authentic</li> <li>It’s the Bluey world, ready to explore</li> <li>Loads of collectibles to find</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Keeping all players on screen is a struggle</li> <li>Not a huge amount of game time</li> <li>Technical issues throughout</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Outright Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 17 November 2023 | £34.99</li> </ul>Bluey: The Videogame Review
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