Game Reviews

Doodle God

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| Doodle God
Doodle God
| Doodle God

Doodle God should never have been classified as a game really.

It's certainly not a game in the common sense of the word. What it passes off as gameplay quickly becomes little more than amusing mixing and matching of icons. It's trial-and-error meets fancy hand-drawn graphics.

The experience is slow, the logic ridiculous, and there's nothing to keep you coming back to it once you’ve seen everything the game has to offer. Doodle God is cute, but that's no substitute for actual gameplay.

Almighty bore

The basic idea is that you get to combine a set of elements to create new ones. When you first start with earth, fire, water and air, any combination will yield a new compound with which you get to play.

Hence earth and fire give you lava, while swamp (earth and water) plus energy (air and fire) give you life.

The goal is to develop as many compounds as possible using the original set and the new ones you've created.

Once you've roughly 30 items, though, the game descends into an exercise in frustration. Although it encourages you to link up elements in creative ways, the fact is that only certain combinations tender results.

Most yield absolutely nothing, quickly forcing you to resort to the tried and tested technique of trying everything with everything. It’s worth mentioning that the game has a built-in hint system, but in practise it provides little guidance.

It doesn't help that there's an arbitrary time limit on the proceedings either.

By the (doodle) gods

Yet while the mechanics get old quickly, the game does a good job of being inviting, with lovely hand drawn artwork being combined with various chants and choruses of hallelujahs upon successful combinations.

There are some major omissions too. It doesn't support iPod library access for personal music playback for example - a feature standard for iPhone and iPod touch games. At least it runs smoothly, although the start-up time on iPhone 3G was fairly lengthy.

And once you’ve collected all of 140 items, there's nothing left to do. Doodle God would benefit greatly from leaderboards, as that certainly would have provided an impetus for replay. Facebook Connect support does enable you to share successful combinations with friends, at least.

Overall, its lack of replay value combined with the general absence of compelling gameplay make Doodle God more of a demigod than glorified encounter.

Doodle God

Doodle God looks and sounds great, but the charming graphics soon give way to dull repetitive gameplay
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
Our summer intern, Ben, is currently studying at university. When he isn't knee-deep in law journals, he writes anything and everything he can. But only if you ask nicely.