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The App Store has provided a plethora of premium games, ranging from NBA Live and Madden to Ace Combat and Need for Speed. While these games showcase what the iPhone is capable of, there are obscure apps that tend to slip under the limelight. Take Doodle Jump; it possesses a unique art-ish look, plays simple enough and it’s addictive. Simply describing the app does read like a press release, but at the heart lies a game that is both charming and a mighty investment. Doodle Jump is a tenth cheaper than The Sims 3, and has received perpetual updates since its inception earlier this year. Many may quickly write it off as another ‘one buck app’, but this one packs enough punch to outlast its presumed expiry date.
One of the pinnacles of games development has usually been the pursuit of achieving replayability. As proven by the demand in multiplayer, downloadable content and longer campaign modes, video games are far more attractive if they’re guaranteed to stay longer in your console or device. Doodle Jump gives consumers just this. The objective is to obtain the highest score possible, so it’s an app that can be played and passed around a Kumbaya-singing circle. You jump from platform to platform, encountering monsters, black holes, UFOs and many other baddies along the way to the limitless top. To aid you in your quest, the developers have included quirky titbits of help such as springs, jetpacks, geeky propeller hats and trampolines, to break the repetition of merely hopping along platforms. These platforms also vary; some break, some move horizontally, vertically, disappear or even explode.
Surprisingly, all of this is single-handedly controlled by your device’s accelerometer, and it controls damn well. Despite some off-moments when your hand twitches, the decision to simplify the way the game is played creates effective accessibility. It’s this sense of family-friendly gameplay that allows Doodle Jump to be enjoyed by nearly everyone. The hand drawn artwork, flamboyantly-coloured baddies, instant pick up ‘n’ play nature and Facebook integration all help the game appeal to the masses. Frequent updates made by the developer are also encouraging. The £0.59 cost represents great value as slews of updates have been released, introducing new weapons, enemies and Twitter support. While the lack of music marks down the overall production value, the “wews”, “vooms” and sound cues of the environment still manage to carry the experience forward.
With all the positives heavily outweighing the negatives, this charming, quirky app excels in accessibility. There’s a ton of rough in the App Store, leaving the diamonds covered in rubble, left to be found by few consumers. This is one of those gems. For a meagre price there’s absolutely no reason why Doodle Jump should be overlooked. Apart from the free DLC packs that come along with it, the game’s strive-for-a-high-score nature refuses to let iDevice owners stop at a certain expiration point. It has replayability; and that’s what gamers ultimately want, right?
Doodle Jump was reviewed with version 1.1.1