Universally Loved tells a familiar story – you’re the new kid at school, you’re feeling a bit awkward, and then you’re sucked through a swirling vortex in order to convince three cosmic deities that you’re capable of talking down the apocalypse itself. Given that a third of your dialogue options are eyebrow-wiggling teenage innuendo, all of existence is probably doomed, but that’s not going to stop you from giving it a try anyway. Brendan also liked what he saw of Universally Loved’s prototype (ooerr) back in 2016, and its still-short (but final) version was released today.
There’s really not a huge amount to Universally Loved – just a collection of silly dialogue trees and a few lightweight mini-games, but oh, what dialogues they are. Engage in a freestyle rap battle with a surly god, get yourself sexily separated into your component sub-atomic particles by attempting to hump an extradimensional entity, or just get the sun dropped on your head for being presumptuous. There’s a ridiculous number of ways to die (thankfully never too graphic in their description), and most of them are funny, so losing is as much fun as progressing.
This trailer is a bit outdated – see the one of the store page instead.
One of the minigames (where you need to clear bubbles to make sure a physics item drops into the right hole) is a little too fiddly and unpredictable, but otherwise I enjoyed my 45 minutes or so with the game. It’s all just one big, weird long-form joke with multiple punchlines that made me laugh, and that makes it worth the £1.69 (nice), in my opinion. Just remember that when a god wants to give you a hug, you need to commit. Also, keep your pants on. They’re probably the only thing keeping you moored to the third dimension, anyway.