In Doki-Doki Universe you play as a servant robot faced with being scraped unless you can learn more about humans in order to serve them better. So I am sure you looked at the score before reading this and you might be surprised a game that did not get much fanfare would receive such a high score. Well I have to couch that score in a few considerations.
Doki-Doki could be described as less than a game in the traditional sense. There is no twitch based movements, boss battles, life meters or deaths. If you do something wrong just try again and fix it. Doki-Doki is a character, dialog and relationship heavy game. The overall story is not deep or complicated but it is a more personal story about each planet and its inhabitants.
I loved this game! Mainly because of the vast amount of story both heartfelt and funny around each of the planets you visit. You can really see yourself and others in the simple characters and situations. HumaNature Studios has written so much dialog and reactions into each character that it really makes each character and planet come alive. The music matches the mood of the game and planets wonderfully as I found myself humming along on multiple occasions.
The endearing art style is a hand-drawn, almost stick figure styles but significantly varied from planet to planet and character to character. All three of these aspects really show how much the developer cared for this game. I played it entirely on the Vita and this game is perfect for small stints, you can accomplish all objectives on a planet in 6-10 minutes. On top of the main game there is also a multitude of fun animated personality tests to be done inside your personal game save or in a Quiz Party mode which is fun to play in your living room with friends.
Lastly it has an interesting email system that allows you to make animated emails to send to your friends even outside of the Playstation platforms. This is a game to relax with and go through 2-3 planets at a time instead of a game that you play for 2-3 hours at a time. Doki-Doki Universe is unlike any other game I can remember and is really carefree relaxing fun.
The gameplay of Doki Doki Universe is visiting 2-D planets that represent a human attribute that your company representative Alien Jeff wants you to learn more about. Things like Jealousy, Pride, Love, etc. Each of these planets has a host of characters that have more or less mini quests for you to accomplish. All quests are solved with either speaking with other characters to resolve conflict or giving a character a sticker that matches what they want or will solve their problem. You are picking out of all of the stickers you have acquired via presents either hidden behind planet decorations or given to you by other characters you helped. There is a total of 330 stickers to collect not to mention space ships and decorations for your home planet. Each character has a Hate to Love slider that represents their thoughts of you. The game will reward you for getting that slider to either extreme as a kind of side quest.
Doki Doki Universe really fills a gap of character driven simple fun that fits wonderfully on the Vita. If you are in the mood for something different and want to visit a candyland type planet and a toxic wasteland planet where a pile of poop is a character then pick up Doki-Doki for a great time.