This cute little platform jumper is oozing with charm! There are some games that just make you smile when you play them. Doodle Jump is one such game. I met the developer (who works on games with his brother) at the iGames Summit, and I’m glad I did! Not every game I saw at this conference was good, but Doodle Jump is the one I turned to when the lecture got a little boring!
The object is very similar to other jumping/endurance games: get as high as you can by jumping on platforms as you avoid obstacles. Your little “doodle” character automatically keeps jumping when he hits a platform, and you tilt the phone to move left or right. You can tap the screen anywhere to shoot up from your… erm, snout? I like the shooting aspect, as it helps from accidentally launching into a monster. (which you’ll still do anyways, hehe) Unfortunately, when you hit the monsters they just disappear, which is kinda lame.
Speaking of monsters, they are equally as cute. In fact, the entire design of Doodle Jump looks as if it was doodled on some graph paper during class. The animations look good, and the sound also works very well. One particular aspect I liked is the warning sound you hear when a UFO is getting near as you ascend.
By far, the coolest part of Doodle Jump is the way high scores are integrated into the gameplay itself. When you reach around the 10,000 point mark, you start seeing red lines on the right side of the screen with names over them. These are the last 100 high scores that were achieved by other people playing the game. Both the top 50, and the last 50 scores will show up. This is completely genius, as you will always be trying to achieve a higher score, whether to beat your own score, or beat others.
Presentation & Graphics
I love them. Very cute and crisp. Gives off that “doodling during Math class” feel. No animation for shooting monsters feels kinda cheap.
The sounds go very well with the game style. I think that music would have really added to the experience though. Without anything, it can feel a bit empty. Would have been nice to have a slight variety of jumping sounds, since currently it’s the same one every time you jump.
Fun as heck. As I said above, this game kept me occupied during the down periods at the games summit I attended. The tilt controls work very well, and the ability to shoot adds an extra element of challenge. I honestly can’t find anything wrong with the gameplay; very solid and responsive.
The idea that you are actively aware of other high scores in the game, as you play, is nothing short of awesome. I’m not saying this has never been done before, but I haven’t seen it on the iPhone. This simple feature means that I will be playing Doodle Jump much longer than I would normally expect from such a simple game. It definitely would have been nice to see extra levels and level designs added to bring some more variety to the gameplay though.
Doodle Jump is a pleasant surprise among a sea of generic and boring pickup-and-play games out there. The idea of actively competing against high scores from all over the world in real time is fantastic, and something that more games should look into. The dev had mentioned some really cool ideas for the future of Doodle Jump via updates, but even in it’s current state, it’s a joy to play. You can tell a lot of love went into this little game.