We usually see a lot Outright Games releases in the last quarter of the year, but with their Justice League game and now Peppa Pig: World Adventures they’re off to an early start in 2023. The new outings of Peppa and her friends are available now for all systems, and we checked out the game on a PlayStation 4.
When we reviewed My Friend Peppa Pig, we loved how it brought the cartoon to life for little ones, even though we also saw a few missed opportunities here and there. This made us curious about how developer Petoons Studio would approach their second Peppa game – after all, the visuals were already spot on so it was really more of a matter of where they’d take the gameplay.
At first glance, things appear quite familiar. You’re still not playing with Peppa, but rather with a friend of your own creation. There’s an expanded character creation tool this time around, giving you more options to customize the game to your liking – which include creating your very own set of parents. You even get to craft your very own home, which will be located in Peppa’s neighbourhood – triggering the start of the game because Peppa’s quick to make your acquaintance.
Peppa’s not just eager to meet you – she also quickly tells you that you should join her and her family on a globe-trotting journey. You know – so that your parents have more time to unpack. Bizarrely (though this is the parent in me speaking), they quickly agree to this plan – and little ones (perhaps worryingly so) will think it’s the most normal thing in the world as well. So off you go, towards places like America, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Australia and England.
And while that seems trivial, this represents a fairly big change in the gameplay formula. My Friend Peppa Pig let players free roam across a relatively big game world that was based around Peppa’s home town and the familiar locations therein. In World Adventures, that structure changes, reducing your home town to just your created house and Peppa’s home, as well as Mrs. Gazelle’s playgroup. Venture out into the world, and you’re off to mini hubs – one for each destination. In terms of the gameplay experience, this makes navigation easier, and makes it less likely for children to wander around town and get lost in the process.
We feel it’s a change for the better, because kids won’t care too much about the game being structured as an open world or not. It also makes sure that World Adventures doesn’t feel like a quick rehash of the first game, and the fact that is educates little ones about different parts of the world is also a bonus. From the Eiffel Tower to the Great Barrier Reef, this is an adventure that truly spans the globe and should get kids curious about what’s out there to discover.
There’s more interactivity this time around as well, with little mini games like the option to craft your own pizza. We pointed at the lack of interactivity in our review of the first game, so this was another welcome change. What hasn’t changed much is the excellent audiovisual presentation. World Adventures once again looks just like the cartoon, and the various locations around the world have been recreated in that same style. You’ll even meet the late Queen Elizabeth II on your trip to England, which (considering recent events) is dealt with in a charming way. The voice acting is good too, though some of the voices are a bit off from the shows we regularly (re)watch.
But while World Adventures feels like a step up from My Friend Peppa Pig in a number of ways, it also feels like it was rushed out the door a little too quickly. We ran into more than a handful of serious bugs with our pre-release version, and even upon launch (after a patch) a number of these issues persist. Some are visual in nature, and in other cases the wrong responses were being triggered. We were surprised, as Outright’s games are usually well polished and rarely need post-launch updates to be enjoyed.
Assuming those updates are coming, this is an improvement and a must-play for Peppa fans. Because of the buggy nature of the game at launch this isn’t reflected in the score just yet, but if the issues get ironed out then feel free to add close to a full point here.