Tech-Less Mom: I Love LittleBigPlanet 3

Posted by | September 15, 2015 | Opinion | No Comments
littlebigplanet3

Oh my gosh, everyone. I love this game. Do you hear me? I love this game!

Let’s back up. About a month ago I was on the Gaming with the Moms podcast when we started talking about which game I should review next for my column. Simone de Rochefort said, “What about Little Big Planet 3?” I said, “Huh?” She said something about yarn and cuteness, and I said, “I’m in.”

I bought it that afternoon.

As is my custom, I let my kids play it for a while before I gave it a try so that they would be able to teach me the game. For a couple of weeks, I heard squeals, screams, and British accents coming from the playroom. When I would stroll by to take a look, I saw a ball of yarn climbing walls and trying not to fall into a pit of flames. I could hardly contain my excitement.

Last week we all sat down together, they gave me a PS4 controller, and I dove into the beautiful world of LittleBigPlanet 3. This game is gorgeous—it looks like an animated movie. It’s the most incredible-looking game I have ever played. I realize that coming from someone with as little game knowledge as myself, that compliment must be taken with a grain of salt, but still, it knocked my socks off.

littlebigplanet 3

The infamous Newton voiced by Hugh Laurie!

We started out with the introductory story and tutorial because I love myself a story. (I’m more motivated when I know what I’m working for.) Well, it turns out that you are a sackperson and this British lightbulb named Newton (voiced by Hugh Laurie!) has convinced you to help him save the planet Bunkum from three evil Titans who are trying to destroy creativity. There are “clouds of imagination” and a “moon of wonder” and this grown-up lady almost keeled over from joy. A game that asks its players to help save inspiration and creative thinking?! Yes, please.

Picking my sackperson was easy. I went with the little yarn girl with the Princess Leia buns on her head. At least, that’s what I thought they were until my husband peeked in and said, “Oh. You went with the geisha, huh?” I’ve decided to leave it open to interpretation.

I played through a couple of levels, getting part of the way through a creepy house called Stichem Manor. I found the game very straightforward to play: You push the toggle back and forth to go back and forth, left and right to go left and right, and you push X to jump. Climbing takes a combination of buttons that I found a little tricky at first, but I got comfortable with it in no time. I also appreciated that, with the exception of needing to time some jumps right, there’s no time crunch in LBP3. I could get through a task and then sit for a minute and congratulate myself before moving on to the next thing.

littlebigplanet 3

LittleBigPlanet 3 is the first game I’d be interested in playing on my own.

LPB3 is great because, true to the game’s premise, you need to use creativity to complete the levels. There were some points where I would get to a section of the house, and I would have no idea what I was supposed to do to move on. Jump? Blow air on something? Push that block? Unfortunately, I never got to work on it because my children were right there to say, “No, Mom! You have to climb the wall and then use the Pumpinator to blow on the gear and then jump across really fast here wait let Ben do it for you okay fine do it yourself sheesh!” I look forward to playing on my own next time so that I can try to work through problems by myself. Oh, and by the way, Newton is actually a bad guy. Thanks for the spoiler, kids.

This is the first game I have played with my kids that I want to play again, and that I can see playing on my own time when I’m supposed to be doing something else like laundry or picking them up from school. It’s the perfect mix of being fun to look at, easy to maneuver, and challenging, not just in terms of trying to jump across platforms at the right time, but also in terms of problem-solving. And I could never hate a game where the narrator says things like, “Have you ever tried to peel a sticker off a cat? Susan was not amused.”

I want to marry this game and have a million of its babies. The end.

Meredith Bland

About Meredith Bland

Meredith Bland is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Brain, Mother; Narratively; Blogher; Time; and Parentmap among others. She also writes at her humor blog, Pile of Babies.