Doki Doki Universe is a unique game on the PS3 and PS Vita that throws gameplay vaguely at a glorified and warped personality test. The result is a game that may not be for anyone, but has certainly charmed and intrigued this reviewer in large, equal measure.
You play as QT3, a robot that is let loose on the galaxy to discover all different traits to becoming human and developing a personality. Your girlfriend is a red Balloon whom sends you e-mails about missing and loving you. Your mentor is an alien worm. Nothing makes straight forward sense. In fact the art style is completely drawn and it has a beautiful charm to it that fleshed out the character and worlds you visit for all but a short time.
As you travel to new planets you solve the inhabitants issues to collect presents. These are decorations for your own planet to customise, or more objects to give to others and solve their issues. You can also you the sticks or touch screen to wave, bow or blow kisses at everyone too. Talking to characters lets you also learn about their pet loves and hates. This then gives you ideas of how to manipulate the relationship to get the effect you desire – normally to grab all the presents!
This is interesting at first but rarely pushes beyond a collect and fetch fest, albeit dressed up in a relationship mechanic and fun visuals. What’s far more interesting is the quizzes that are constantly thrown your way. You are given abstract pictures and lots of options to decide how the duck feels, or the castle you’d rather buy or where in the dinner queue you’d normally be. Sometimes you can’t see quite what its getting at but as the answers pile up it builds a comprehensive personality assessment, a yin and yang assessment and how left or right brain you are. It’s great fun and there’s a lot of prompts to get your friends involved although I haven’t explored that at all. I find myself wanting to solve more and more problems so I can take more tests and because each world is usually over in 20 minutes, then next feed of questions is never far away.
There is one down side to Doki Doki Universe aside from the fetch the object style gameplay and that’s the games stability. On the PS3 I have had the game crash so many times I counted 4 within an hour once. The game saves very often so you don’t lose much but it’s such a common issue I hope a stability patch comes soon.
– Personality tests FTW!
– Genuinely original world, feel and character
– Cleverly written script (thankfully, as you spend most of the game reading)
– Stability issues
– Puzzles stay at the “give them the correct object” level and rarely get tougher
Doki Doki Universe doesn’t contain the worlds best gameplay, but it has that certain something that makes me want to constantly go back for more. Great for short sessions and for those whom love seeing what a test or quiz says about them… which is almost everyone on my Facebook feed!