Doodle God (PC) Review

By Nikola Suprak 13.05.2016

Review for Doodle God on PC

Occasionally, a game will find some success on a mobile platform, captivating its target audience with some simple yet engaging gameplay and working quite well within what is expected for the system. Sometimes, these games will do so well on there that they will try to jump to one of the more "traditional" gaming systems, either on home console or PC. And, almost to a game, these efforts will end in a spectacular dumpster fire of failure. This isn't to say that one medium is inherently better than another, but what people want in their mobile gaming experiences differs significantly from their console gaming expectations. Doodle God is just the latest game to try to make this leap, doing so with the finesse of a drunken hippo. Maybe future mobile developers can learn from this mistake.

Life as a god must be hard. It might not seem like it, but if Doodle God is any indication, the whole thing is much more of a hassle than it is worth. Things start off simple enough. There is a big empty world and the Doodle God is provided four elements from which to make things to fill it with. Any two elements can be combined, either creating a new element or resulting in failure and the suggestion to try again. Fire and water will make steam, and that steam can then be used to combine with other elements and make new combinations. Things start off fairly simple, and the combinations will give things like dust, lava, or stone. Eventually, however, these combinations will give way to more interesting combinations, like skyscrapers, satellites, and vampires. The goal is to find a way to create all 248 different possible objects and try not to forget all the previous combinations that have already been tried.

Screenshot for Doodle God on PC

So what's the point of all this? That is somewhat unclear. The object is to make new elements by matching two together, which you then use to make new elements. The gameplay is simple, for sure, but simple doesn't always mean good. It's is technically classified as a puzzle title, but it really doesn't feel much like a true puzzle game. The closest comparison is probably point-and-click adventure games where items can be combined in the inventory to make new items, except here there is nothing to use them on except for other items in the inventory. There is no end goal here other than to make new elements, and mashing two objects together and seeing what results isn't really anyone's definition of fun. There might be some minor, fleeting entertainment that comes from matching up two objects that look like they should go together and seeing what can be made, but the whole thing feels pointless. There are only more elements to add to Doodle God's ever-growing arsenal, but nothing to do with them.

Screenshot for Doodle God on PC

On top of this, the game runs on its own insane logic that doesn't always yield predictable results. There are only 248 different combinations that can be made, but the game never tells you exactly what most of them are. Thus, while two objects may seem like they absolutely should go together (snow and storm makes a snowstorm, right?), if they weren't one of the preselected options in the game's dictionary, then it really doesn't matter. When the game starts out, things aren't too bad, and most of the combinations appear fairly logical. At the point when there are 100+ elements kicking around in the inventory, things become considerably less structured and a lot of the new stuff that can be made relies on adventure game logic that won't make sense to anyone trying to rationally think things out. It eventually becomes an exercise in just rubbing everything against everything else, and seeing what random combinations that don't make sense will plop out another element and which will just give a failure noise. This isn't fun. The game doesn't give any indication of what it wants, and the nonsensical combinations that actually yield results sometimes mean the best strategy is simply guessing and testing, which is an unbelievable bore once the number of useable elements swells. Some sort of better logic, or gentle nudging at what sort of elements were still needed would have made things far more bearable.

Screenshot for Doodle God on PC

There are a couple of things outside of the main story mode, but they are really just more of the same thing. There are a handful of puzzles where some preselected object must be made and only a handful of elements are provided to make it with. These aren't terrible, but they suffer from the same issue where the game's logic doesn't always follow a coherent path. Then there are quests, where some goofy objective is provided that needs to be completed. These vary from things like helping Santa deliver presents to rescuing a princess and slaying a dragon. This was probably the most enjoyable segment of the game, and knowing generally what was needed helps eliminate a lot of the endless guessing, and the relatively trimmed-down pool of items keeps things from becoming too chaotic. It still isn't particularly fun, and really, this is just a more streamlined version of the main game without anything new. Sure, some of the combinations are different here, but it is the same boring gameplay so it is hard to get too excited about it.

Screenshot for Doodle God on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Doodle God is a very difficult game to classify, as it barely seems to qualify as a game in the first place. It feels a bit like a point-and-click adventure if any context for the puzzle-solving was removed and replaced with even more clicking. It becomes obvious early on that this was originally a mobile game, and even more obvious soon thereafter that it should never have tried to change platforms. This kind of game is best classified as a time waster, and it works well enough while waiting in line at the grocery store or on the morning commute, where the only goal is to kill a couple of minutes by some random guessing, but the entire thing falls apart once someone sits down and actually tries to play it for any extended period of time. There is no real point to anything here, no genuine purpose to any of this gameplay, and anyone looking for something more than a pointless waste of time is going to need to look elsewhere.

Developer

JoyBits

Publisher

JoyBits

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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