I Found My Humanity! Too Bad It Hates “Doki-Doki Universe”

I want to say that Greg Johnson’s latest game, Doki-Doki Universe, is delightfully weird, but I struggled too much with the gameplay to wholeheartedly recommend it. The main quest quickly becomes repetitive, as your robotic protagonist QT3 never does anything other than search for Summonable gifts that he can then conjure up for the needy people he encounters, and at least Scribblenauts put you in control of your own creativity, rather than limiting it to a series of 300-odd stickers. Likewise, LittleBigPlanet left you plenty of room to mess around with decorations and your own levels, but it at least put the platforming elements of its game in the foreground. Between personality-quiz asteroids and an in-game, animated-emoiji-filled e-mail server, the actual “game” of Doki-Doki Universe gets lost in its own highfalutin nonsense. As I said in the full review over at Slant Magazine:

People are more than a series of likes and dislikes, just as a game must be more than a series of multiple-choice tests and object recognition. It’s a shame that Doki-Doki Universe, which is so clever in its ability to assess the player’s personality, is ultimately unable to give the player what they most want: an actual game.

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