Luv me buddies charactersLuv Me Buddies Wonderland is an adorable title that unfortunately suffers from some rather serious design oversights.  Whether these outweigh the game’s positives will depend on where you put your emphasis, as well as your patience for a forthcoming patch.  This mini game collection has its heart in the right place at least.

An extremely colorful title with bright visuals and cute characters, Luv Me Buddies will certainly appeal to the eyes of young children.  The exotic locales across the map are fun and varied, which will help alleviate boredom setting in.  The music is bouncy and happy, providing a nice compliment to the atmosphere.  Parents should be happy to know that neither my wife nor I found the tunes annoying, so little kids will probably love them!

Luv Me Bubbies map

This game unfortunately doesn’t optimize the Wii U hardware well at present.  Part of this is understandable as the game was originally slated for WiiWare, but it still disappoints.  The GamePad is used in a clunky fashion, mainly necessary to display mini game instructions.  This will force you to keep it close at hand, yet prevents off TV play  – the games themselves are currently only set up for Wiimote control.  Thankfully this oversight will soon be patched.

Technical issues besides, the game has some quirks.  For one, there is an overall lack of clear direction and objectives.  What threshold needs to be reached to clear a level?  The game doesn’t always indicate.  Kids could beat a level yet fail because their score’s not high enough.  To go along with this, my wife and I discovered that many of the challenges in these games are simply too advanced for young children.  It’s not a matter of comprehension, but rather the way the games are designed and programmed.  Lack of checkpoints, limited lives, and strict time limits, make it so.  This a game that parents will want to make sure they play with their kids, less frustration sets in.

Luv Me Buddies game

The memory games are particular noteworthy for the sheer amount they ask kids to deal with.  Failure on a final challenge can result in needing to redo them all – up to five separate ones! The lack of a quick retry makes these even more frustrating as it’s a process to return.  You must load up  the menu, listen to a character repeat the same chatter, select the game again, be shown instructions once more, more loads and character chat, etc.  The forthcoming patch will address both this and the challenge (in part) through parameter adjustments, and it’s much needed.

As I’ve done more often than not when looking at titles for young children, I’m not providing a score here.  The game has a solid foundation with some pros, but also its share of cons.  I’d strongly recommend that parents who download this game for their children plan on playing it with them.  The challenge (and overall design) of the game isn’t well suited to young kids presently and could easily frustrate, but playing with an adult might help them focus on the better aspects of this work in progress – it was designed with family multiplayer in mind anyway.  Once O2 games updates this game with a patch this will be easier to recommend.  Until then weigh the pros & cons to see if this cute game would be suitable for your family.

Thanks to O2 Games for providing this review code to Pure Nintendo.