Mar 17, 2011
There’s a certain type of gamer out there that’s absolutely going to adore Doodle Dash. If you spent hours upon hours and enough quarters to fund a good college education at your local arcade mastering your favorite game, then keep reading. Everyone else should just go download the latest update to Angry Birds, and forget they ever saw this review.
Still with me? Great, let’s dig in to the maddening depths of Doodle Dash. This game has extremely simple (but exceptionally responsive) controls, and gameplay. The real meat of this game comes in shooting for a new high score each time you play. All you have to do is hit one button to jump, and another to fire your gun – that’s it. You don’t even have to move your character, the game does that for you. You’re probably asking yourself “how hard could this game really be if you don’t even have to move your character?” As it turns out, the answer is “extremely hard”. The first time playing Doodle Dash, I fell in a pit in less than fifteen seconds. The second time ’round, I landed on some spikes less than thirty seconds in. It was a good long time before I lasted longer than a minute, but the strong desire to get a higher score kept me playing.
That’s the one and only hook to Doodle Dash – you keep playing because you want to achieve that elusive perfect run. Each time you play, the level looks different. Sometimes you’re facing ninjas, and sometimes you’re facing mummies, but the level structure is always the same – pits, spikes, enemies and power ups. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just a sign of the game’s focus. It’s not about diverse gameplay, and unique levels, but rather it’s about getting that high score, and showing off your ability to master the precision timing needed to get that high score.
The controls are tight, and the concept is definitely going to appeal to gamers that love to shoot for high scores on difficult games, but Doodle Dash is missing one essential feature: leaderboards. This game is focused very tightly on shooting for the best score you can get, but it provides no built-in way to compare that score with other Doodle Dash players. Given the nature of this game, the lack of leaderboards, or any sort of stat tracking is a major disappointment.
If you’re in to games with harsh difficulty levels that push you to strive for a new high score, you’ll probably love Doodle Dash. The lack of online leaderboards is kind of a downer, but tight gameplay and responsive controls will keep you coming back again and again in hopes of getting a new high score.