Doodle Escape
| Doodle Escape

There comes a point in every relationship when the spark that drew you together fizzles out.

For gamers just as much as for those in secure relationships – or 'non-gamers' as I like to call them – it's getting through these rough times that actually cements your love.

Doodle Escape, though in no way a 'bad' game, is the kind of title that will undoubtedly put many an aficionado's love for gaming to test, if for no other reason than that it calls to mind the expression 'been there, done that'.

Draw your weapons

Indeed, such is the pace of the mobile market that a couple of years ago a review of Doodle Escape could well have been littered with words like 'innovative' and 'fresh'.

While its take on the platformer could never have been dubbed revolutionary, the game's sketchy art style would once have seemed new. Now, any number of mobile games have borrowed the look.

So Doodle Escape is late to the party.

You control a mini-sketch man equipped with a sword, running and jumping through 12 stages played out on the pages of a notebook.

In your arsenal are two ultimately familiar forms of attack: either you can slice foes with your weapon by tapping the '5' key, or you can bop them on head by jumping on them.

Ode to a hedgehog

If the latter feels like an overt reference to platformers in the Sonic mould, that's because it is.

The majority of Doodle Escape's levels – intentionally designed to be short and sweet – involve jumping from one moving platform to another in quick time, naturally bringing the exploits of Sega's oh-so-famous mascot to mind.

Even some of the power-ups – one of which results in your legs swirling around in circles, Sonic-style, as you temporarily run apace – seem designed to remind you of the hedgehog's exploits.

If only for the dash down Memory Lane, it's easy to find yourself enjoying a lot of what's on offer here. The only bugbear is a slight issue with the game's enemies.

The hand-drawn nature of Doodle Escape means it's possible to walk right through NPCs. As such, if you land on a platform in contact with your foe but facing the wrong direction, you lay yourself entirely open to attack as you rush to turn to face the right way.

That aside, it's the derivative nature of Doodle Escape that does it most damage.

Every element has been lifted from elsewhere, and Doodle Escape, despite doing its sources justice, feels more like a dog-eared love letter than a romance in full swing.

Doodle Escape

Though coherent and well delivered, Doodle Escape is more a compendium of platformers gone by rather than a classic in its own right
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.