Remember when licensed games were uniformly terrible? Buying a video game based on a beloved movie or character would, more often than not, be rewarded by the crushing disappointment of a poorly engineered, hastily slapped-together cash-in. Eventually, licensors like Disney got wise to the reputation damage, and gave talented studios the time and freedom to make spinoff games their own way — even Spider-Man and Star Wars games are good now.
But if you thought disrespecting fans and the video game medium itself with trashy tie-ins was a thing of the past, I’m afraid I have to disabuse you. There’s one community that still has to put up with this kind of thing on the regular, and it’s kids. It brings me no joy to report that the latest (and one of the most egregious) examples of this slash-and-burn game licensing is Bluey: The Videogame — news that will be galling to preschoolers and parents, as well as to the many adult fans (and, presumably, the creators) of one of the best things on TV.
To reiterate, Bluey is an Australian animated show about a playful family of dogs who explore the mysteries, truths, and foibles of life through play. Its seven-minute episodes are densely packed with layers of comedy, sentiment, visual invention, and even philosophy. Bluey is far from the only great show aimed at kids of a young age, but the finesse of its animation, the brilliance of its jokes, and its ability to address the whole family at once without siloing its messaging for adults and kids set it apart. The show’s creators clearly believe that a seven-minute kids’ cartoon can be a profound and brilliant artwork: Why wouldn’t it be?
How dispiriting, then, to find that Bluey: The Videogame lacks respect for both its audience and itsRead more on polygon.com