Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Doodle God

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Electronic Theatre ImageDespite the addition of brand new exclusive content and Xbox LIVE features, the Windows Phone 7 version of Doodle God has had a hard time replicating the success of its iOS counterpart. One of the core reasons for this is commonly believed to be its price tag, hence the rapid drop in price following Microsoft Studios’ decision to introduce a lower entry point earlier this year, with Doodle God now available for just £0.79 GBP. However, in a marketplace which presents the likes of The Harvest and Mush, one has to wonder whether this is enough to make an impact on Doodle God’s flagging fortunes.

A very simple premise, the player acts as a god creating the earth, life and everything else by combining items known as elements. These elements appear under associated categories selected simply by tapping them, with two being selected at a time for elements to be combined. Possible combinations consist Electronic Theatre Imageof the logical additions, ‘water’ and ‘cement’ to make ‘concrete’, the metaphorical, ‘car’ and ‘air’ creating ‘airplane’, and from the real-world properties of ‘fire’ and ‘sand’ creating ‘glass’ to the nonsensical, ‘beast’ and ‘vampire’ combining to create ‘werewolf.’ Also, elements can actually take on their literal and metaphorical meanings, for example crossing ‘weapon’ with ‘poison’ will create ‘poisoned weapon’, but by the same measure will produce ‘nuclear bomb’ when combined with ‘plutonium.’ One of the most amusing combinations comes when crossing ‘apple’ with ‘cellphone,’ but Electronic Theatre decided to leave that one for you to discover for yourselves.

Beginning with just a few elements, players will find nearly every combination they attempt will result in one of more new additions to their repertoire. However, as they progress such frequency will obviously diminish, resulting in Doodle God loosing its intended analysis based gameplay and becomes a simple case of attrition, matching every element with every other element in the hope of something new being created. Sadly, such issues are ingrained with not the design but the core foundation of the videogame, and so rather than increasing it’s pacing and thus its addictive quality, Doodle God almost fizzles out before its established ending.

That’s the core gameplay mode however, and while the Quests fail to offer any variety in the gameplay, they do provide more appropriate durations. Each of the four Quests available – one of which is exclusive to the Electronic Theatre ImageWindows Phone 7 format – offers a different length, but all come to a conclusion after a reasonable enough duration so that they don’t wear out their welcome.

The visual quality of Doodle God is perhaps its most welcoming aspect, with some fantastic cartoon visuals truly representative of their element and often in a humorous manner. The voiceover is a welcome addition also, though as with the videogame content itself; his quips do become a little tiresome after the players invest a small amount of time into Doodle God.

While the first few hours with Doodle God provide interesting, relaxing activity, it’s all-too-soon that it wears out its welcome. It’s a shame as it’s clearly not the fault of the developers; it’s simply a case of an underlying issue with the premise. It’s an entertaining title in the short term, but being in it for the long haul will inevitably lower your opinion of the videogame. It would seem that, facing stiff competition from bigger names and more gamer-orientated productions, Doodle God just doesn’t have what it takes to carry the price tag of an Xbox LIVE enabled title, hence the sequel’s release without any unique features.

 

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