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UglyDolls: An Imperfect Adventure

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
UglyDolls: An Imperfect Adventure Game Poster Image
Colorful adventure for young kids is simple, repetitive.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There are some positive and encouraging messages as quests are completed and the player comes one step closer to removing the robots from Uglyville. The encouragement's tied to accomplishing missions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are no characters that act as role models. The game is driven by the player's actions to eliminate robots from the land.

Ease of Play

While the navigation through the crafting and mapboard sections, along with the odd point of view takes some getting used to, the game's overall mechanics aren't that complex. 

Violence & Scariness

The violence is very mild. When the player's character is defeated, they simply respawn back at the beginning of an area and start anew. Players are defeated when their courage bar (which substitutes for a health bar) is depleted, and that happens through encounters with robots. 

Language
Consumerism

The game is part of a franchise that covers a number of toys and objects. A movie of the franchise will be released in May 2019.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that UglyDolls: An Imperfect Adventure is an action game that's downloadable for Windows PCs. Players take on the role of one of the UglyDolls trying to prevent their world from being destroyed by robotic invaders. The game contains mild violence against these robotic enemies, along with some comic mischief. While it's based off of the UglyDolls franchise (which has a movie coming out in May 2019), it's a stand alone game that's easy to learn and play, even though there are some complex menu elements that players have to get used to. There's also no inappropriate content to be found in the game.

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What's it about?

In UGLYDOLLS: AN IMPERFECT ADVENTURE, the UglyDolls live in Uglyville, a town that is far from ideal. Robots, in the neighboring community of Perfection, stumble into Uglyville and are so distressed by the chaos there that they invade Uglyville to remodel the quaint village. Players select one of two characters, and are tasked with closing the way into Uglyville before transporting the robots back to Perfection. The arcade-style adventure game throws players into areas where they'll run from robots, collect materials to craft objects, and use these newly acquired items to thwart the robots' plans. Can you save Uglyville before it's too late?

Is it any good?

Though colorful and initially charming, this game quickly becomes a repetitive exercises in seek, dash, craft, and repeat. The initial concept for UglyDolls: An Imperfect Adventure offers possibilities for a lot of fun and innovative, not to mention clever, gameplay. For example, one of the earlier quests asks players to collect parts to build a machine, which will craft a door. Shortly after this, you then shove a nearby chair under the newly made doorknob to prevent more robots from coming into Uglyville. The game builds up these tasks in such a way that each job seems monumental and vitally important. But what soon becomes apparent, though, is that the missions frequently require players to do the same thing over and over. While that might be good for younger players, it's too repetitive to hold the interest of older gamers.

The graphics help to sell the gameplay, and the kid-friendly environment is a big plus as well. UglyDolls is a colorful, 2D game although its camera requires constant shifting to stay behind the controlled character as they maneuver through the environment. The UglyDolls themselves aren't ugly, and have a certain charm that adds to the setting. Voiceovers, used in the major cutscenes, make even the most mundane of events sound stupendously important. It's just too bad that Uglydolls: An Imperfect Adventure is so simple and repetitive with its gameplay that it doesn't rise to the level of the dialogue. Only young fans of the franchise would be engaged here; everyone else will probably look for something different (and more challenging) to play.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids. Does playing the game make you want to see the movie? How does marketing play a role in driving interest in the overall franchise of Uglydolls?

  • Do the graphics of a game help to make it fun? How hard does the player want the game to be? Does the story matter? What was fun and appealing about the story of UglyDolls: An Imperfect Adventure, and what elements weren't fun?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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