Greg Johnson has always been known for his offbeat games: he's the creator of Toejam & Earl and worked on Star Control II and Spore, just to name a few. With Doki-Doki Universe, Johnson and his team at HumaNature is tapping back into that element of familiar weirdness with a concept that, much like Toejam & Earl, is hard to describe at first but makes perfect sense once you get a chance to play it and see how the pieces of this puzzle combine.
Story and Gameplay
Doki-Doki Universe tells the story of Model QT377665, a robot who discovers that his entire race is obsolete thanks to one crucial, missing element: humanity. When QT3 can prove to Alien Jeff that he is capable of humanity, his race is spared.
How does one gain humanity? Apparently, by flying around the service and assisting others with their problems. Doki-Doki Universe features many different planets that QT3 can land on, with each planet needing assistance in some way such as helping to reunite lost lovers or simply taking a personality quiz. Completing objectives on these planets gives QT3 items to take back to his home planet to use for decoration and humanity purposes. Johnson describes the game as a “RPG/Simulation/Interactive Story’ game,” which is a fitting description. This isn't a game involving action or violence; think of it more as an adventure game with light RPG elements and pictures.
Greg Johnson, in speaking with the official PlayStation Blog, may do a better job of describing this admittedly hard to describe game:
“While you’re traveling the Universe, you’ll also stop at many tiny asteroids where you can take fun, visual personality tests. You can get a full personality report from the Therapist who lives on your home planet, which by the way, you get to decorate. You even get to visit your friend’s home planets and check out their personality reports.
Doki-Doki is a lot more than just a game. It’s a huge simulated “living” Universe of intriguing content, filled with interactive stories and self-discovery. From within Doki-Doki players can use Doki-Doki Mail that ‘magically’ animates anything you type, and lets you communicate in playfully expressive ways with friends who also have the game or the mobile app.” Additionally, you'll be able to visit your friend's planets to see how their customization differs from yours.
At E3 2013, a new trailer for the game promised over 100 new characters to interact with along with "dozens of new planets," showing that Doki Doki Universe has the potential to be quite large. Unfortunately, much of the game is still in the dark but the new trailer, linked above, does give a sense of how the game will operate.
The good news is that Doki-Doki Universe will initially be a free download on the PlayStation 4, Vita and PlayStation 3. While you'll only be limited to a handful of planets in the free version, it will be more than enough to get a feel for the game. Johnson, again speaking with the PlayStation Blog, described how this free version will work:
“ This free game will include our fun Doki-Doki Mail messaging app, which players will also be able to get for free on mobile platforms, for cross-platform chat. If players decide they want to land on planets and interact with all the crazy characters in our Universe, they can purchase and download the full game.”
Johnson is keeping much of the game under wraps for now, as his intent is for players to discover much of what makes Doki-Doki Universe unique upon playing it. It definitely won't be a game for everyone but it does stand out among the PlayStation 4's line-up of realistic, violent games. At the very least, it's worth a download when it releases, though no release date has yet been announced.
See our review of Doki-Doki Universe.
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 5/20/2013