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Socialise your way out of inevitable cosmic doom in Universally Loved

Do not smooch the fifth-dimensional polygons.

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This trailer is a bit outdated - see the one of the store page instead.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.

Universally Loved is out now on Steam for £1.69/€1.59/$1.99. You can also find the old alpha build on Itch here.

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Dominic Tarason


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