Game – Doodle Jump Adventures
Version – 3DS
ESRB Rating – E – Everyone
Price – $31.39 (3DS)
Release Date – 12/10/2013
Publisher – GameMill Entertainment
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of GameMill Entertainment
Doodle Jump debuted on iOS devices in 2009 for $0.99. Has enough content been added to Adventures to warrant a price tag just over thirty times higher?
Gameplay & Controls
Doodle Jump Adventures features the same simple controls and addictive gameplay that the original iOS version had. You control Doodler, a quadripedal alien creature, by tilting your system left and right and launching projectiles with the face buttons or touch screen. The goal of the original game was travel as far upwards as possible by bouncing on platforms and avoiding obstacles. Along the way, the player could acquire a variety of power-ups to assist them. The same is true in Doodle Jump Adventures, but now there are 48 levels to explore across four different worlds in addition to the classic “Endless” mode.
I first booted up the game expecting a simple cash-in with boring, repetitive gameplay, but was pleased to find out that I was very wrong. While the first world is simple, those succeeding it add new challenges and power-ups, like platforms that move when you bounce off of them and boots that keep the floor under you from crumbling, as well as a noticeable hike in difficulty. These additional challenges and power-ups are highlighted by the surprisingly clever level design, which makes use of them in some very challenging ways. Trust me, I do not use the word “challenging” lightly. If you enjoyed VVVVVV and making the par times in Mighty Switch Force!, Doodle Jump Adventures is right up your alley.
Upon completing each level, you will be graded with up to three stars based on how fast you completed the level and how many points you accumulated. While this might add some replayability, there is no Streetpass or internet functionality to be able to challenge your friend’s scores, which was one of the features that made the original iOS game so fun. After completing a level, there isn’t much incentive to go back and try it again.
While playing this game, I noticed that in order to keep the Doodler from moving I had to tilt my 3DS slightly to the right. I tested the gyroscope functionality with Mario Kart 7, and found that my system’s gyroscope is slightly off-center. Although this is clearly a problem with the system, having the option to calibrate the gyroscope in-game or use the circle pad to play would have made it a bit easier to play. As well, it would have made the game more “portable”, especially while in transit. This is not a problem with the game itself as much as it is a precaution, as gyroscope problems are not an uncommon issue among 3DS owners.
Visuals & Sound
Doodle Jump Adventures’ simple art style gets the job done: it portrays the game as if it was on a scrap sheet of paper and manages to look quite charming in doing so. The Doodler himself is a cute little creature, and some of the enemies are the sorts of odd designs you might see in a child’s sketchbook. Each of the worlds also has a slightly different style, so the player doesn’t get too tired of looking at the same backgrounds over and over again.
Sound design in Doodle Jump Adventures is virtually nonexistent. There is no background music aside from the main menu, and the in-game sound effects are very simple bounces and grunts. This kind of game doesn’t really need extravagant sounds or visuals, though. The game’s simplicity adds to its charm and “doodle” theme.
Final Score: 6/10
Doodle Jump Adventures is a very fun, challenging game. Unfortunately, it is difficult to recommend due to its price and lack of internet functionality. The title would have been far better suited to a cheaper eShop release than a full retail one. I do not think that Doodle Jump Adventures is worth $30, but if you can find on sale for $10 or less then I would highly recommend it.
+ Simple and addictive gameplay
+ Well-designed levels
+ Lots of level variety and new challenges throughout the game
+ Challenging gameplay
– $30 price tag is far too steep for what the game offers
– No Streetpass or Internet functionality, so the high score feature is virtually useless
– No way to calibrate the gyroscope – some players will have to play at a slight angle
– Difficulty level might be too high for certain players
Alexandre Trottier absolutely loves punishing platforming games like VVVVVV, and was surprised that Doodle Jump Adventures left him satisfied in that respect. If there’s a game you’d like to see him cover, be sure to tweet @NF_Alexandre. As well, check out the NintendoFuse forums where there are plenty of interesting discussions going on, and tell us what you think about the review or the game in the comments below! If you have the time, give us a “like”, “tweet”, “reblog” or “+1”… You know, whatever the cool kids are doing nowadays.