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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

Poppy Playtime


At A Glance

  • Released: 10/12/21

  • Reviews: 55038, net mostly positive, as of 12/2023

  • English Reviews: 23428

  •  Localized in:

  • Had Publisher: no

  • Majority of reviews:

  • English ~42% 

  • Russian ~12%

  •  Spanish Spain ~11%

  • Price: Free, originally $5

  • Review report

  • Negatives:  Got heavy flack for company decisions (getting involved with NFTs, reducing the price of the game from $5 to free and then not rewarding the OG fans)

  • Positives:   short, immersive, fun, good characters, good scares, was recommended by a 5 and 8 year old (how?),



Gameplay

  • Vhs tapes can only be used with certain-colored vhs players

  • Can walk, sprint, and jump to start

  • Had to unlock a color-coded lock door (cutesy, toy-like, not boring numbers)

  • Unlocking the hand grabber requires watching a video

  • Needed to grab key off of Huggys hand, it dangled as to give away its position a little easier, because there was no visual indication of where it came from, only auditory

  • Player slows down when falling from a great height

  • By stretching out the arm wire to it’s limit and jumping off a great height you can prevent fall damage and create a pseudo grappling hook, without the swinging

  • If you make it into the conveyor area and stay at the edge Huggy will stand there staring at you

Music

  •  Tense booming noises, gives the impression of a grandiose space

  • Switches to bells tolling in the storage warehouse?

Sounds

  • Echoing footsteps

  • Sfx for the hand grabber sound very goofy and approachable, whether directly considering the younger audience with this game or indirectly just by making the environment a toy factory it works out

  • Electrical current sounds good

Art

  • Game is very dark, no flashlight yet

  • Cranking up brightness helped

  • No shadows or body model on player

  • The hand grabber has very fluid and juicy looking animations, not just a simple throw and retract gadget

  • Hand grabber flips upside down when shooting it at the ceiling

  • First look at Huggy is a big statue(?) in an atrium illuminated by moonlight

  • Eyes of the toy monster in the middle of the build a toy room follow you slowly when moving

  • Beyond the conveyor belts there is a large industrial room and then a Victorian-era hallway where the Poppy toy is inside a glass case

UI

  • Main menu has a button for the merch store, very expensive stuff

  • Item tab in the pause menu that can be looked at

  • Text is playful and colorful

Writing

  • Vhs tape can be played, hints at security systems in the corp and also offers a little humor from the narrator by saying this is a tape they play on repeat during off hours to deter trespassers

  • As indicated by vhs, Huggy is some kind of experiment

Scare Factor

  • Huggy statue disappears from the stand once power is on

  • Arm slinks into a doorway (garten of banban as well)

  • High pressure steam coming out of a pipe, classic

  • After solving an electric puzzle in the conveyor belt it automatically takes you through tunnels and alarms go off, spilling toys on the belt

  • Huggy comes through dark tunnel where you are supposed to go to activate the next part, have to get very close to his spawn point in order to make him appear (Maximize oh shit factor?)

  • Horror stinger plays when he appears, music that follows isn’t as strong

  • Walks slow, towering

  • Have to go into the conveyor belt area, doesn’t follow

  • Finally get flashlight

  • Shows up on the other side of some vents crawling, now the player knows they are absolutely not safe

  • Chases you through a couple sections of vents

  • Loud jumpscare plays when Huggy catches you

  • Personally, I think Huggy Wuggy defines genre expectations and that’s why he is so powerful as a horror creature.  A tall, lanky, seemingly lovable toy made to be as terrifying as possible while also following the player into an area that they would traditionally deem ‘safe’ or at least unreachable

  • Light explodes and turns off in the Poppy room


Extra

  • Made with unreal

  • The game has a launcher before the actual game asking to choose between chapter 1 and 2 if its been purchased

  • This launcher appears to have been made with Unity instead of Unreal


Overall

  • Very short ~2 hour game which was originally launched at $5

  • A good game in its own right, had a few world sections that spoke volumes about the place the player was located in

  • Very few puzzles, but I guess it can be classified as a horror/puzzler

  • Not many scares in the game either, once Huggy shows up it’s 2-3 really big scares and a couple of chases

  • I think ratcheting up the tension was what made people really terrified of the first encounter with Huggy, it was set up very well

  • Personally, I don’t think reducing the price to 0 was the right call, but it’s their biz

  • Localization seems to have carried the game very far, good choices

  • Suspiciously absent are asian-area languages: Japanese, Chinese, and Korean



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