March 22, 2009

Doodle Jump iPhone Game is Simple, Yet Challenging

Some iPhone games try and recreate the traditional console experience, reminding us of older NES cartridges, or are simply ports from PC titles. Others, like Lima Sky's array of offerings, leverage the iPhone's accelerometer to the point it becomes the entire focus of the game. Such is the case with Doodle Jump, a platform jumping game that has you working ever higher, trying to jump to safety, all while avoiding falling to your demise, or running into monsters and other bad news.

Doodle Jump, unlike a myriad of other platform jumping games we've all seen, never has you standing still, and there's no running for better position. From the time you hit the start button, you are jumping and on your way. Tilt the iPhone right to jump right, and lean to the left to go left. Along the way, you can find platforms that crumble or disappear underneath your feet, ones that move side to side, or be faced with monsters, who will kill you immediately, should you be unlucky enough to cross their path.

Doodle Jumping From Platform to Platform

The sheer simplicity of the game (tilt left, tilt right and shoot by tapping the iPhone) makes the fact that I fail every single time, somehow, annoying, but always makes me feel like I will do better the next time. I found myself tilting and aiming for the springs on some platforms to vault ever higher, and jumping to wrap around the screen to find platforms on the other side that were within reach. But I always died. Something always got in my way.

Trying to Avoid Monsters and Pitfalls

While the game is easy to start, full of platforms and options, the higher you go, the more challenging it gets. You can see markers on the side of the screen, showing how far other players around the world have gone, and you can see the number of platforms disappear, or be replaced with ones that won't help you all that much, as they break away at the mere touch.

Not Always Quite Getting Away from Danger

If you get far enough, and manage to avoid the monsters, or shoot them out of your way, you run the danger of being abducted by UFOs or sucked in by black holes. Your long-nosed four-legged character might be cute, but he's in serious trouble, and you'll want to lead him to safety. You can find Doodle Jump on the iTunes store for only 99 cents.