Doodle God: Ultimate Edition review
Whilst Doodle God may have started out as a mobile title focused around combining elements to create something new, this Ultimate Edition on Xbox One fleshes out the content to an impressive bounty of modes. Sure, it still revolves around the click gameplay of combing elements, but with more objective-based scenarios, some spectacularly crisp visuals, and the core game-loop being surprisingly compelling, you can lose hours to this puzzle game.
It’s such as simple concept. You’re a god and it’s your job to populate the world with stuff. Animals, people, elements, inventions, monsters, and many more objects can all be created by combining two things together. It starts off simple with a handful of elements at your disposal, but as you create more, your options to combine become vaster and more complex. You’ll soon have a world full of interesting creations, and it’s a highly satisfying result.
It’s quirky too; for every logical creation, such as fire and sand equalling glass, there’s an amusing combination, such as dinosaur and fire equalling a dragon, or blood and human equalling a vampire. It’s delightfully odd and in line with classic point ‘n click adventures, in terms of humour and developer logic stumping you, which can lead to some mild frustrations as you fail to figure out a combination, but it’s a passing annoyance.
Doodle God doesn’t leave you entirely without aid. Objectives will appear on the side of the screen encouraging you to work towards a specific creation. Meanwhile, as you play you’ll earn hints and auto-combine abilities to help you, with more available to purchase through in-game currency. It results in you never feeling like you’re aimlessly combing things; there’s always a hint to help or an objective to chase.
Additionally, Doodle God: Ultimate Edition is lousy with modes. The standard mode of populating the world with your creations can keep you busy for many hours on end, but you can lose just as many hours with the scenarios. These challenge you to complete a quest of sorts, with limited elements to combine that are all relevant to the theme of the quest. Furthermore, another mode asks you to find the ingredients to specific special creations such as Stonehenge, and a multiplayer tournament mode allows you to challenge other players in a time trail challenge to find the solutions to certain lists of ingredients. There’s a remarkable amount of content on offer here for such a simple puzzle game.
Of course, despite the variety of modes, the core game-loop remains the same: combining elements, and this does eventually lose its lustre. It’s pleasantly surprising how much time you can lose to this puzzle title but the fun eventually waivers. The complexity of many different things to combine doesn’t rejuvenate the unchanging mechanics, and the sense of wonder you feel when you discover strange new creations soon becomes predictable as you tune in to the logic. It’s certainly still fun and impressively fleshed out, but after gripping you firmly in the first instance, its longevity quickly fades.