My Friend Peppa Pig
My Friend Peppa Pig = Game Of The Year Contender?
Over the past week and a half, the name My Friend Peppa Pig has been a bit of a meme on social media. The game itself is hardly a blip on any sensible person's radar. However, it was due to the word of mouth originating from larger social media accounts that the game started to spread. Whether it was something as innocent as labeling the price of My Friend Peppa Pig to people in the replies actually showing their spoils. It hardly mattered. It didn't matter how small a topic it was, a trending topic is a trending topic.
The developer of My Friend Peppa Pig is Petoons Studio, who created a rather interesting "Metroidvania" titled Curse of the Sea Rats. Titled a "hand-drawn 'ratvania' adventure," the graphics, gameplay, and premise all look interesting from the trailers alone. Following a successful Kickstarter, the game is currently in development, slated for an April 2022 release.
Outright Games Strikes Again
Unfortunately, any and all hype was stunted by one familiar publisher tied to My Friend Peppa Pig. That's right, this game is another Outright Games banger. Those who have been following my plight with this lovable brand will already know what to expect. For the rest, in short, almost every game from the 'OG' has been a bust. I didn't expect Peppa Pig to be any different. What I did expect was, I don't know, an actual game and not whatever My Friend Peppa Pig ended up becoming. The beginning of My Friend Peppa Pig starts with the titular character, Peppa Pig excited to meet her new friend. The funny thing about this opening scene is her family telling Peppa to calm down as she doesn't even know who or what said friend is.
Spoiler alert, the friend is you, but your details aren't disclosed until you create your character. Regardless, after the opening scene, the player begins to create their "friend." I'll give proper credit as the amount of customization for a game such as this is in-depth. You can choose between various animals including a wolf, rabbit, and mouse. Each animal makes a specific noise (something I realized as I accidentally pressed the button to make a sound). What was funny about the noises is that somehow a rabbit makes the same squeak sound like a mouse? Anyways, the game has very few positives, so character customization is a major one.
Hang Out With Peppa And Her Friends!
Moments after you create your character, Peppa Pig greets you and introduces you to her parents. It is here where I will give some more credit as the graphics are pretty spot-on. No sarcastic quotation marks here, the graphics are really good at capturing the Peppa Pig show. I'm sure younger fans of the series, will enjoy seeing their creation live on a TV screen as they move around and interact. Everything that players can expect from a Peppa Pig episode can be seen here. Unfortunately, the game plays itself like a re-run for various reasons.
Upon entering Peppa Pig's house, you can interact with the objects by pressing the face buttons while moving exclusively on a 2D plane. In Peppa's room, the player can interact with her toys, each offering a unique action. Players can roll a toy car, blow bubbles, and play with a magic wand. Players can also interact with a costume chest and spin a globe. Eventually, an event will take place in which the player can play tag with Peppa and her little brother George. Other events including helping Daddy Pig mix a salad and helping George look for his dinosaur can also play out the longer the player lingers in a specific area.
Peppa Pig Is, Indeed, A Groundhog Day Simulator
Here's where the real problem arises for My Friend Peppa Pig. There is simply nothing to do after the first five minutes and savvy gamers will realize this, no matter how young they are. Here's the thing, remember the events I've mentioned about helping Daddy Pig with a salad? Playing tag with George and Peppa? Even helping Granny Pig round up some chickens? They all repeat after each daily cycle, which is determined based on the number of activities Peppa had done.
In my playthrough, after rounding up chickens for Granny Pig, Peppa grew tired which prompted her parents to pick us up and sleep for the night. The following morning, waking up in Peppa's room and investigating the toy box again, the same exact cutscene plays. Guess who has to play tag again? This gets even more jarring when the player goes into the kitchen and finds Daddy Pig, once again, chopping salad. Go into the living room and the same exact show plays on the TV as it did yesterday. After some time passes, George loses his pet dinosaur again. Sure, the player can go to various places including the school and the beach, but each of these events replays itself over and over. It's, to my knowledge, an endless loop.
My Friend Peppa Pig Isn't A Bad Game, Because It's Not Even A Game
It's impossible for me to say whether My Friend Peppa Pig is a terrible game because it has to actually be a game first. I recently gave a First Take for Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls and blasted it for how linear it was. At least Paw Patrol was a game, complete with levels, minigames, and things to do! The only thing the player can really do is go to the beach, make sandcastles, play catch, stomp in mud puddles, and do other meaningless tasks.
If the player could actually perform actions with actual controls, fine. But everything is just "press this one button in order to do something." It plays more like a Powerpoint presentation than a game. For a $40 price tag, parents can purchase their kid a 50-book box set of Peppa Pig while watching the episodes on YouTube. It will give their child loads of entertainment for the price as opposed to playing My Friend Peppa Pig.
My Friend Peppa Pig is now available on the PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.