It may be slightly unfair to point it out, given the age range that Uglydolls – both the toys and this game adaptation – appeal to, but the subtitle ‘An Imperfect Adventure’ is incredibly apt.

First things first though: what on earth is an Uglydoll? It may surprise you to hear this, but they’ve actually been around in some form or other since 2001. Yep, that’s twenty years and yes, I do indeed feel very old. They’re odd looking – but cute – plush toys, with very non-threatening monstrous features in many cases. They’re actually pretty adorable – within the ‘Uglyverse’, the word ugly doesn’t have quite the same meaning as we’d apply it: to the dolls and their friends, it means unique or special. Glad we’ve cleared that up.

About this game then – Uglydolls: An Imperfect Adventure is a third person adventure that takes place in (and under, at least between missions) Uglyville. Robots have invaded and they’re attempting to make everything ‘perfect’; the problem is that the Uglydolls celebrate their differences and imperfections. So the stage is set for our heroes – of which there are two to choose from – to deal with the robot problem by collecting lots of stuff, crafting items and rescuing allies.

It’s all very colourful and there’s a really nice visual style to the game, with a patchwork, storybook quality to the town and its 2D inhabitants – even the playable characters are sort of cardboard cutout-esque models, a bit like the PlayStation classic Parappa the Rapper.

Yet the constant fetch quests you’re sent on are incredibly repetitive – and many of the items you’re tasked with finding are simply represented by gold coins, so it rarely feels like you’re doing anything new when you’re asked to go and find specific items.

Crafting can be a bit of a pain too, because you’ll need to either wait for a very specific mission before you certain items become available to make or you’ll have to buy a random recipe and hope it unlocks the item you want. The shop is very overpriced too, necessitating endless slogs of coin collecting as you go. There are at least plenty of gadgets to unlock and craft, some of which are genuinely fun to use; it’s the one area of the game that does demonstrate some inventiveness.

The music doesn’t change across the whole of the game’s duration; it’s a charming enough track, but listening to the same track over and over again is a bit much. Neither does the game’s setting, with only the between-missions cave offering any different scenery to the environment of Uglyville. There’s only minor variation in enemy types too, so you do feel that once you’ve done a few missions, you really have seen it all.

It’s a very straightforward, nicely colourful game – with easy to learn mechanics and very few challenges that are particularly difficult to overcome – and is probably one that would appeal to very young children, as a sort of My First Procedurally Generated Adventure. There’s very little on offer here to keep anyone older than small kids entertained for the duration here, unfortunately – and I should know, as I took one for the team and played the game to completion, so you don’t have to.

You’re welcome.

Uglydolls: An Imperfect Adventure is available now on PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One.

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