Friday, October 1, 2010

Doodle God

Some Early Combinations
Today we'll look at another of the most popular downloaded paid apps, Doodle God.  Doodle God is a puzzle game in which you combine simple elements to make more complex ones.  You begin with the four traditonal elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air.  Simply tap or click the elements to combine them.  At the beginning, there are many physical combinations which are pretty easily conceptualized, such as Earth plus Fire gives Lava or Lava plus Water gives Stone and Steam as shown in the picture to the right.  I hadn't played anything like it before and it is entertaining trying to make new things.  Some of the matches are non-physical like Fire and Water gives Alcohol (Firewater).  These are harder to find, but the system does allow you one hint every few minutes.  (On the mobile version you can get a hint every time you enter the app, so you can kind of cheat the timer that way.)

Doodle God costs $0.99 on the iPhone and iPad, but is free to play online. (The game isn't on Android, but there is a game on android called Alchemy which is almost exactly the same.)  You can play it on their site or on Kongregate to get two badges.  To complicate the issue, however, the developer publishes updates to the mobile versions, but so far does not update the web version.  The updates cover three chapters and take the total amount of elements up from 115 in 14 categories to 248 in 26 categories.  This greatly extends the life of the game as the early elements are much easier to find anyways.

Bird+Tools=I'm a bad player!With Chapter 3, you can create games in order to unlock a matching mini game called MatchTrix.  This was a very good idea, as by the time I got to this point, I was quite a bit frustrated with the main game.  Elements slowly fall from the top of the screen, and by matching elements that create new elements they disappear, but now the newly invented element will also fall.  You can setup chains of combining products for more points.  Also by tapping the falling element you can switch it for whatever element is in the box at the upper left.  Its similar but different from Tetris.

Chapter 4 gives you Bejoined, a Bejewled style game.  It unfortunately becomes near impossible to make any matches that progress the game once you get above 60-80 elements.

The music that comes with the game is good, but there are voices that comment on your progress.  They are so annoying that you may want to smash something after listening to them for long enough, especially if you are having trouble matching.  Thankfully, the developer allows you to enable or disable music, voices, and sound independently.  The artwork on the little icons is decent as well.  Each discovery gives you a fanfare and a little quote, some of which are also entertaining.

  • Free or cheap.
  • Simple but addictive game-play.
  • The mini-game MatchTrix is change of pace and a lot of fun.
  • Open feint support!
  • Later matches can be more trail and error than anything else.
  • Voices are very annoying, especially if you not able to make a match for awhile.
  • Disparity in the different versions can be very annoying.
  • You can create Quick-Silver and Cyborgs, but no evil T-1000s.
Final Thoughts:
Doodle God is a fun game to play, despite some of the matches being insane.  (Nuclear Bomb + Demi-God gives you Flowers?!  How are you supposed to think of that?)  The mini game that pops up once you invent games is a very welcome change of pace after getting the last few matches.  There is no lite version, so if you are interested in playing it but uncertain about plunking down the dollar, check it out online first.  Worth looking at

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