Popular puzzler Doodle God recently received a massive update to version 2.0, providing the perfect opportunity to give the game a second look as well as explore new game modes, a refined UI, and the game’s debut on iPad. While core gameplay remains the same from the first iteration, several compelling features make the update a good enough excuse to blow the dust off of Doodle God and spend a few hours crafting elements from their prerequisite parts.
The Main Game
Not much has changed with the main gameplay mode in Doodle God. You still set about mashing together elements to create new elements that you can then smash together with other elements (perhaps the game would have been better titled as Doodle Alchemist) ad nauseum. Sometimes the combinations seem mindless (worm + earth = beetle), sometimes they make sense (sand + fire = glass). The latter category comes with a much greater sense of satisfaction when puzzled out.
The main changes here are tweaks to the UI and graphics found in Doodle God. The game still offers rather basic animations and icons — we aren’t dealing with a full-fledged 3D platformer here — but it looks good, if not a bit bland. You can call up several different types of hints if you get stuck, some which recharge over time, some which can be purchased with in-game currency or as in-app purchases.
The goal is simply to discover as many elements as possible in order to advance along in the game. There isn’t much storyline to speak of and as the selection of available elements grows the game can quickly become overwhelming and tedious.
Aside from repetitive gameplay that wavers between mind numbing and addicting, the main drawback of the game is its monetization multi-personality disorder. Not only is Doodle God priced at $1.99 in the app store, but there are also ads sprinkled throughout on top of the aforementioned in-app purchases.
Artifact, Quest, and Puzzle modes
The strongest aspect of Doodle God isn’t its main game mode. Rather, it is the selection of secondary modes that are expanded in the update to version 2.0. An all new Artifact Mode features special multi-element puzzles that unlock everything from Stonehenge to the Lock Ness Monster.
It’s a neat twist on the core concept of the game. Unfortunately, you need to unlock the ability to unlock artifacts. Confused? Perhaps I can make it a bit more clear: you must first unlock a mystery artifact, then solve a separate puzzle to reveal the artifacts true identity. So, yes, Artifact mode is neat, but you can’t dive very deep into its selection of special elements immediately.
With Doodle God 2.0 we also get a selection of new quests, the closest thing to a story mode the game offers. Given a set of elements catered to the scenario, you must craft your way off of a desert island, help Santa fill his sack with toys, build the greatest inventions of the 20th century, and more. Like artifacts, quests provide a more fulfilling gameplay experience than the standard mode.
Likewise, Puzzle Mode is yet another twist on the core concept of Doodle God. Given an initial set of elements, the player’s goal is to craft a specific object like a skyscraper or train. In one scenario, the goal is to turn a nuclear bomb into a flower.
While they are labeled as mini games, MatchTrix and Bejoined could just as easily constitute their own, separate App Store offerings. As the names suggest, MatchTrix is a take on Tetris-style matching games while Bejoined is a Bejewled clone utilizing Doodle God’s element blocks.
The mini games use the element combinations (the same you will discover in the main game) to clear the board before new blocks take their place. Players progress through levels racking up high scores along the way. Both games are easy to pick up and a fun diversion from the main gameplay modes.
Doodle God for iPad
Doodle God 2.0 marks the first time the game is available for iPad, but aside from a customized interface don’t expect to gain any special features or game modes. The game plays out the same as its iPhone counterpart, only on a larger screen.
To that point, the layout looks great on the iPad. Doodle God makes itself right at home on the larger screen, offering a layout more akin to the Mac version of the game with a UI that calls to mind a storybook or ancient text.
If you already call yourself a fan of the Doodle God series, then get ready to lose more time to your favorite object-crafting deity. If you are new to the Doodle God franchise, there is plenty to explore. The price of entry, however, is a bit steep at $1.99 when considering that the game still contains its share of ads and attempts to lure you into making in-app purchases.
If you can get past that sticking point the next hurdle is bearing the main game long enough to get the hang of things and unlock a few artifacts. The bonus modes and bonus content that arrive with version 2.0 are easily what make the game.
TAGS: Doodle God 2.0