Doki Doki Universe: A Review

When I first saw the trailer for Doki Doki Universe, I thought it looked adorable. Who wouldn’t want to wander around the galaxy as a cute little robot and learn about humanity? I downloaded the demo and liked it enough to buy the full game. ($14.99 CAD on the PSN)

Developed and Published by HumaNature Studios, this game is not up there on the cutting edge or graphics, but that’s one of the things I liked about it. It felt like a bunch of children’s drawing had hopped in to a game engine and started moving, and I found that very quaint. It’s categorized as an adventure game, but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. While it does have some of those elements, I also felt that it had a huge hidden object element to it.

Basically, you’re running around the universe to different planets in order to learn as much as you can about being human. On the way, there are psycho analysis tests to do that supposedly tell you all about yourself. Sometimes these were wicked accurate, sometimes… not so much. This ended up being a big bummer, especially when you did an entirely different quiz and got the same results at the end.

The puzzles themselves are not that hard to solve. I found that it was a lot of running around talking to different NPCs on the various worlds. The dialog was interesting enough to not make it a tedious process.

Now, I don’t know if I had a faulty install or what, but the game kept freezing on me to the point where I almost gave up playing. Not only would it freeze, but the whole system stopped wanting to work, forcing me to do a hard reset before I could either try again or move on to something else. This was very frustrating, as I often lost a lot of progress when this happened.

Another thing that irked me is when I finished the final planet, I was still missing several of the collectible items. I’m one of those crazy people who likes wrapping a game 100%, so I went back to the places I had missed so I could try and round out my collection. Unfortunately, the items I should have gotten from solving those puzzles didn’t come up. I’m guessing that I needed to complete those quests before the end of game in order to get everything 100%. That, I must say, didn’t thrill me.

The mail system (getting letters from game characters) was a nice touch, but having it attempt to log me in to Facebook constantly was a little irksome. Not everyone needs everything they do broadcast on social media. I know, this coming from a blogger sounds a little ridiculous, but blogging is not on the same scale as a Facebook update.

Overall, the game play was smooth, the controls were easy to master (really easy to master), and the graphics were great. The freezing was bad, but like I said, it could have been a faulty install. I’m going to reinstall it when I have some time and see if I can round out my trophies.

While it was worth a play, I don’t think it needed to be priced at $14.99. I really don’t think it’s necessary to have more personality tests available as DLC. I’m definitely glad I gave it a look, but it’s not on my must play list. If you want to try it, wait until it goes on sale. 3/5


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