If you’re not a parent, chances are you may have no idea just what Bluey is, or just why a Bluey video game is a big deal, so allow me to educate you. Bluey is a cartoon from Australia that follows the lives of the Heeler family, with Dad Bandit, Mum Chilli and of course, sisters Bingo and Bluey. Note, I didn’t say kids cartoon, and for good reason. While it may animated, this is an animation for families, and I promise you – it’ll make you smile, laugh, cry and truly consider what kind of parent you are, or what kind you may aspire to be.
Without doubt, it is genuinely one of the funniest and most brilliantly written shows for kids I’ve ever seen, and perhaps one of the best shows on TV all together. In the mere 7 minutes each episode has to tell its tale, you’ll encounter better storytelling and heart than almost anything else for this age group. I’ve not had many heroes in my life, but if I want to be any kind of dad to my kids, it’s to be a dad like Bandit.
Both of my kids adore Bluey, and in an XboxEra first, you’ll hear from them in the video version of this review – but for now, I’ll dive into how the game is structured, what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly, whether this is something you should pick up for your little ones.
This Episode is called…
The game itself is structured quite nicely – each episode progresses the overall story – a lighthearted affair revolving around collecting pieces of map Bandit made with his brothers back in the 80’s (the references to previous episodes of Bluey are lovingly doled out throughout your playtime) and each starts with the cartoons signature “This Episode is called” title card. In a lovely addition, this can be a multiplayer affair, with up to 4 players each playing as a member of the Heeler clan.
Throughout each episode, you’ll collect minigames for your game wheel – ranging from the ground is lava to chasing Chattermax throughout the house, and of course, it wouldn’t be a Bluey without a round of Keepy Uppy. Each familiar Bluey location – from the Heeler House, the Creek, the park and more are strewn with collectibles, stickers and so on, and collecting 3 or more unlocks a dress up item for the whole family. All of your collected stickers and map pieces are added to your sticker book, which can be viewed at any time, and you can “free play” in previously unlocked locations to collect things you’ve missed.
Your Standard Collect-a-thon
As a video game, Bluey is very simplistic – seasoned gamers will find the gameplay loop to be little better than your average free-to-play tablet collect-a-thon. Obviously, the target audience is your average 5-8 year old, so I guess I can’t complain to much. During co-op play, my son would get very frustrated with his sister due to her lack of experience in navigating a 3D space, but then he’s been zipping around in Minecraft for a couple of years. Thankfully, the co-op is a godsend here, and as Bandit, I could pick up Bingo and give her a piggy back, which my daughter absolutely loved.
Where Bluey: The Videogame elevates itself is in lovingly referencing it’s source material – the game is full to the brim of great callouts from the show, and it really helps you feel right at home in the Heeler’s world. The developers have done a good job of bringing across all the characters and animations, though the use of less defined and a decidedly fuzzier art-style for everything else was a little disappointing. The use of the original voice cast for most of the characters, particularly the Heelers makes it feel incredibly authentic, though I wish they’d recorded a few more lines. If i have to hear Chilli congratulate me for unlocking a sticker sport one more time, I may go mad.
For Real Life.
The big question I asked myself when it came to writing a review was this: Is this just a low-effort cash grab, or is it worthy of the fantastic show? I’m pleased to say, I feel they’ve landed firmly in the latter camp. The usually impeccably imparted ‘lesson’ each episode of the show delivers arrives here in the game exactly where it should be, heart and warmth intact.
So, I’ll assign it a score based on our policy, but importantly before we wrap things up, I think you need to hear from two Bluey experts.
“As a 9 year old, I think it’s a really good game because you have to collect different sticks and play keepy uppy which is my sisters favourite game. There’s loads of activities to do and fun things to explore. I loved that they had all of the voice actors and I rate it a 10 out of 10.”Jacob, aged 9 and a half.
“I love this game, I love how this did it, I love how it turned out, I loved the ‘ventures and my brother is really annoying, he was shouting at me but this was my first time and I never played a game on the big TV. I was really excited by this and it was really fun. I’d give it a 10 out of 10.”Harriet, aged 6 and a half.
Bluey: The VideoGame
Xbox Series X
- The original voice cast! Take that Peppa Pig!
- Heart warming 'Bluey style' ending
- Loads of fun for the right age group
- Co-op for the whole family
- Simplistic, repetitive gameplay
- No deeper than some free-to-play tablet games