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Doki-Doki Universe Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . From the creator of ToeJam & Earl comes a game about a robot searching for humanity. Doki-Doki Universe has players flying through twenty different planets, all in hopes of finding what makes humans tick. Meet more than a hundred characters and solve missions in this quirk, though terribly shallow, adventure game for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita! Rating: 64%
Doki-Doki Universe
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
Between all the first-person shooting, swashbuckling and sports simulating, there hasn't been a lot of hugging in 2013. Doki-Doki Universe is about to change that. From the creator of ToeJam & Earl comes this year's most endearing game, an adventure that takes an abandoned robot across the universe in search of friendship, understanding and, most importantly, humanity.

Doki-Doki Universe is the story of QT377665 (QT3 for short), who has been dropped off on a small asteroid by his owner, a young girl named Lani. For 32 years our hero stands idle, his only friend a red balloon. As the game begins, Alien Jeff (a small alien with an equally dinky spaceship) discovers the abandoned robot as he's cruising through the solar system. After hearing about the young girl, Jeff convinces the reluctant robot to explore the universe in hopes of understanding humanity.

Doki-Doki Universe (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

This sets QT3 on an adventure that spans twenty different planets, each with a set of inhabitants who are in serious need of help. As luck would have it, this model of robot is capable of summoning over 300 objects, including humans, dogs, houses, aliens, vehicles, ice cream cones and just about anything else you can think of. As he helps the planet's citizens, QT3 begins to learn the complexities of humanity. Many planets have individual stories that help explain jealousy, love, pride and compassion. With some luck, this little robot will finally grasp what makes us human.

The twenty planets are based on a number of different countries, time periods and holidays. QT3 will talk to the animals in an Africa-inspired planet, freeze his antenna off in an icy planet, get spooked out by the Halloween planet and even negotiate with a sea creature in an underwater planet. And that's just the start; other planets are inspired by Japan, Egypt, Hawaii and New York City.

Not only do these twenty planets look completely different, but they are filled with a wide assortment of colorful characters. You can expect to find fellow robots in Robodachi, rabbits in Bunnipi and snowmen in Brrr. (Yes, the planet's name is Brrr.) There are more than one hundred characters to talk to, each with their own set of problems, likes and dislikes. If QT3 can keep all this straight, he might actually learn a thing or two about humanity.

Doki-Doki Universe (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

There are only a few types of quests to solve, none of which are especially difficult. Most characters need something to make their life whole, which requires QT3 to summon one of the 330 items found in the game. For example, an underwater sea monster may want a birthday present. Thanks to powers that are not fully explained, our hero is able to summon a birthday present and complete the task.

Many of these items are found by simply picking up the various houses and trees that adorn the planet. As it turns out, everything in Doki-Doki Planet can be picked up and flung about. That's because every element of the planet is paper-thin, not unlike PaRappa the Rapper and Paper Mario. Not all of the items QT3 picks up will be immediately important to the quests; some will come into play on different planets, or end up being completely useless.

Doki-Doki Universe (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Larger planets offer longer stories, often with more interesting outcomes. On Farroh, QT3 meets Cleo, who is heartbroken by the passing of her friend, Ramses. What she doesn't know is that the ghost of Ramses is still around, desperately trying to communicate. This sends the loveable robot on a quest to reunite these two. Before everything is said and done, QT3 will experience a ghostly possession, a religious ritual and the appearance of Death. All to get Cleo and Ramses back together again.

All of the stories in Doki-Doki Universe are designed to pull at your heartstrings and win you over by being adorable. And, for the most part, it works. I looked forward to visiting each new planet and getting to know its inhabitants. I was curious what piece of humanity QT3 would learn next, and how it would be explained. I was invested in this robot's journey, even though I wasn't sure how it would end.
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