Welcome to the app store, Bluey.
One of our family’s favorite shows now has a mobile app game as of Aug. 15, and you can bet my 4-year-old son, Casey, and I have already played it.
I like to consider myself a connoisseur of games for children age 4 and older. I know, it’s a weird niche. But Casey recently went through a phase where he would ask for a new game every day. It didn’t matter which game – just any game.
We kind of solved this desire for millions of new games with the wonderful PBS Kids app. During the screen time that he’s allotted each day, he can play as many games as he wants, all within one free app. We also have an ABC Mouse subscription, and that has lots of games and features that he loves to explore.
But through it all, I’ve wondered: When the heck are we going to get a “Bluey” game?
It’s here. And while I can’t say “Bluey: Let’s Play!” is the best game I’ve come across, it’s definitely a lot of fun – and refreshingly not annoying.
Here’s what to know about the new “Bluey” mobile game app.
‘Bluey: Let’s Play!’
Cost: Free to download, with a $9.99 monthly charge for full access to all features. The first month is $4.99.
What to know about the show: In each episode, the Heeler family and their friends and extended family play games and explore the many issues of childhood, parenting and family life. Bluey is a girl and the older Heeler child, and Bingo is her younger sister. The dad is Bandit, and the mom is Chilli. They live in Brisbane, Australia, where Ludo Studio, the production company behind “Bluey,” is based.
How it works: When you first open the app, there are eight “rooms” to explore in the Heelers’ house. Two of the rooms – the backyard and the kitchen – can be accessed for free. Other rooms – the girls’ bedroom, the bathroom, living room, patio and playroom – are only accessible with the monthly subscription. More rooms will launch later this year, according to the Bluey website.
When you open a room, you can pull in different “Bluey” characters. The rooms are interactive with little games and features. In the backyard, you can build the pizza oven from “Hammerbarn.” You can drop garden gnomes into a fairy circle. You can put Bluey or Bingo in their little purple car – “Nice parking spot, Rita” – and drive them around the yard. A cloth swing and a traditional swing hang from the family’s royal poinciana tree, and both are interactive. You also can grab a rake to clean up piles of leaves, or a shovel to take care of mounds of dirt.
The verdict: For my little “Bluey” fan – these are simple games with interactive features, and he absolutely loves them. Even with just the two rooms that can be accessed for free, he gleefully dragged Bingo and Bluey from side to side through each area. Bluey held a bubble shooter and Bingo held a water gun and they squared off on the trampoline. Then the girls were thirsty, so he poured glasses of lemonade for them.
For me – that $9.99 a month subscription cost is just a little too high. If I could pay a one-time fee of $25 or $30, I would. And I may give in and try that first month for $4.99.
Still, for a family on a budget, ANOTHER monthly cost may not add up, even for a diehard “Bluey” fan.
While it’s pricey, it might be worth it if you really love the show. The passive nature of the game is very calming and almost zen. It reminded me a little of my beloved “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” which I’ve described to friends as ASMR in a video game form. There are no loud or surprising noises that I’ve encountered so far, a far cry from other games geared toward children.
I’d love to hear what you think! Drop a comment and share your thoughts on “Bluey: Let’s Play!” Do you like the game? How do you feel about the price?
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