It’s not entirely surprising to see that there’s going to be a Bluey Video Game. What will be surprising is seeing how well the developers can actually manage Bluey’s diverse audience.
Undeniably — don’t argue with me, because we both know I’m right — Australia’s most significant export in the last decade has been Bluey.
Really, there’s nothing that comes even close. With that success came the inevitable range of spin-off merchandise options, everything from Bluey books to Bluey Figurines to Bluey Cricket Sets and more. I feel confident that someone, somewhere has tried to pitch a Bluey branded pregnancy test kit to the creators, though thankfully that one is yet to hit store shelves…
So in that sense, a video game makes a lot of sense. From the looks of the trailer, they’ve pretty obviously got the art style down, and of course the voices, but then that should be a given for modern consoles. We’re decades removed from the point where that shouldn’t be assumed for any game based off an animated property really.
So why tricky?
Partly because Bluey has an incredibly diverse audience. While it’s ostensibly a show for young children, I’m yet to meet someone who isn’t charmed by it, making it very easy watching for just about everyone at every age.
Clearly nobody should be making a Bluey game that’s Dark Souls-level difficult, but at the same time that management of difficulty and interesting challenge is rather key. The promise here is for variable difficulty levels and the ability to jump between activities at any time… but that too can be hard to manage in a way that’s still satisfying.
So very many “kids” games tend towards the overly simplistic because it’s the easiest way to solve that problem; if you can’t fail you can’t have a frustrated pre-schooler after all. At the same time, video games do need some level of “hook” to ensure that they have a level — even a basic one — of replayability, and the older Bluey fan audience — and let’s be clear, I’m amongst them — will want something to latch onto as well. I for one, am already calling dibs on Bandit, because he’s excellent.
For sure, a lot of the younger audience might just hook into the story elements of the game, and I’m sure some parents might get a little tired hearing the same Bluey voice clips coming from their Switch, PS5, Xbox or PC over and over again… but will they manage to make a Bluey Video Game that’s as good as the series itself?
That’s a big challenge, because Bluey itself is so particularly good.
Bluey comes out across Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series S/X/One and PC on November 17th 2023.
No Dancing Grannies were harmed in the making of this article.