Bluey: The Video Game (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

I freaking love the Bluey TV show!  It’s a kids show but has so much to offer for adults, too.  The show is set (and animated) in Australia, and stars a family of four cartoon Australian Cattle Dogs, or Blue Heelers for short.  The family consists of Bluey, the titular playful and curious six year old, her younger sister Bingo, and their parents: Bandit and Chilli.  They all learn lessons through play and imagination, and some of the topics are more serious things that only adults would truly understand.  These can range from moving away, infertility, dealing with ADHD, and even death.  The show strikes a balance between making things easy for kids to understand, but deep enough to keep adults interested.  So when I heard last year they were making a Bluey video game, I tried to get a review copy of it.  I wasn’t able to unfortunately.  You win some, you lose some.  But when I saw the game on sale recently, I decided to get it and review it.  Bluey: The Videogame is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

When you start, you can pick to play as either Bluey, Bingo, or their mom or dad.  And up to four can play at the same time, too.  You can run, jump, and pick up objects in 3D space.  You can also push and pull some heavy objects, and Bluey and Bingo can even climb on their parents’ shoulders!  Button prompts show you everything you can do, so you never have to worry about not knowing which buttons to press.  Also the activities you can do are super simple, so even the youngest gamers should be able to play without too much trouble.

The main game is set up into four chapters that feel like episodes of the show.  In the first chapter, the Heeler family are on holiday (I guess a long weekend), and they have a lot of things planned.  But before they can go anywhere, they must tidy up the house.  They make a game out of it, and here you learn how to pick up items.  The kids then find a balloon and decide to play “Keepy Uppy.”  It’s that game where you try to bounce a balloon without it touching the ground.  I used to play that when I was a kid, but we didn’t have a creative name for it.  Just “Don’t Let the Balloon Touch the Ground Game.”  After a few games of this, the balloon leads them to a torn piece of paper that’s a treasure map that Bandit and his brother made when they were little back in the 80s.  So Bluey and Bingo decide to get the other pieces of the map from his brothers and have a treasure hunt!  And that’s the end of the first episode.

In the second episode, Bluey and Bingo visit their uncle Stripe and cousin Muffin at the playground.  Here they play dress up and learn how to equip hats.  You can wear all sorts of hats in the game and even unlock more as you play.  Then they play a few rounds of “Ground is Lava” as they try to rescue Princess Muffin at the end.  Here you’ll have to do a bit of light platforming, but it’s not hard.  Then Uncle Stripe gives them the next piece of the map and the second episode ends.

In the third episode, Uncle Radley comes to visit and gives the girls their late Christmas present.  It’s the newest version of Chattermax!  That’s an annoying toy the grown ups HATE in the show, and it’s kind of a parody of Furby.  You’ll play a few rounds of “Chase Chattermax” before Radley gives you the last piece of the map.  In the last episode, the girls’ granddad (Chilli’s dad) comes to visit, and they find the “Magic Xylophone” and play a few rounds of freeze tag before gathering supplies and go to the creek.  Here they’ll pick up some trash and do some light platforming before finding the treasure.  After finding the treasure, Bluey is disappointed that it’s just an old toy, but her dad shows her all the fun things they did along the way, and Bluey decides that it was a good holiday after all.  And that’s kind of how I feel about the game, too.  It’s ultimately disappointing, but the memories you’ll make playing it with your kids and family are way better than the game itself.

And just because you’ve finished the chapters doesn’t mean the game is done.  You can always explore any locations you’ve unlocked, and you get a stickerbook for collecting stickers as you play.  You can get stickers by finding hidden toys and sport balls, watering plants, and finding other hidden items.  In each area are three newspapers, pavlova cakes, leaf bugs, and mini hockey sticks for you to find, and some of them are pretty challenging to locate!  In most areas, you can also play any of the games you’ve unlocked, and depending on where you are, there will be different arenas and obstacles, so it’s fun just to find them all.  And all the mini-games you can play here can also be played “For Real Life” as Bluey puts it.  You’ll visit iconic locations from the show, like the Heeler’s house and backyard (their house is huge, by the way, I don’t know how they can afford it).  You can also jump and slide at the playground park, and explore the creek and beach.  There’s a lot of room for just messing around, and I’ve noticed that when kids play video games, they like to just mess around.

Aside from some clipping and bugs, the graphics look like they were lifted straight from the cartoon.  And the game is fully voiced from the cast, which is pretty amazing.  But like I said, the game does have a few problems.  The main game is very short and you’ll be able to complete it in an hour or two.  Even though the production values are high, the game feels a bit rushed, like they had to get it out before the holiday season when the show is still popular and strike while the iron was hot, which I can understand.  I would definitely not pay full price for this game, and I feel sorry for anyone who did.  But if you can find this game on sale like I did, or play it through PlayStation’s or Xbox’s online services for free, then I’d go that route.  For the sale price, I certainly had fun playing it with my brothers, my nephew, and even by myself!

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  If you’re OK with your kids watching the show, they’ll be ok with the game, too.  Reading skill isn’t needed as everything has spoken voice, and as long as your kids are old enough to hold a controller and understand what it does, they’ll be able to play this one without much trouble at all.  Bluey: The Videogame is rated E for Everyone.

So yeah, I love this show and I wanted to talk about it a little, too.  My favorite characters are Unicourse the puppet, bratty cousin Muffin, and little sister Bingo.  Too bad Muffin wasn’t playable in the game!  My favorite episodes are “Fairytale” (It was the 80s, man!), “Sleepover” (Coconuts have water in them!), and “Baby Race,” which almost made me cry!  Oh, and if you do decide to watch the season three finale called “The Sign,” which is a 30 minute special episode, make sure you have some tissues handy.  I didn’t think a kids show could get that hardcore!  What an emotional roller coaster that episode was!  Anyway, in the comments section, tell me your favorite Bluey characters and episodes!  –Cary

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