Doodle God is more like one of those impromptu games you play with siblings on long car rides than it is a typical videogame. Like “I Spy,” the rules in Doodle God are broad, and scoring points requires a lot of thinking, guessing, and wild stabs in the dark. But that’s why it’s full of surprises– and fun.
The premise of Doodle God is extremely simple. You play as God at the dawn of time, and your goal is to create as much stuff as possible. To kick things off, you have four elements to work with: earth, fire, air, and water. By mixing these together, you create new elements, like lava (earth plus fire) and steam (air plus water). Now you can combine these with with the others to build an expanding collection of stuff.
Please refrain from putting the cat in the boiler.
The catch– of course there’s a catch!– is that not all combinations work. You’ll have to use your creativity, the game’s hints, and simple guesswork to unearth all of the content in the game.
At the top of the screen you can see how many groups and elements you’ve discovered out of the total number possible. The game becomes more challenging as you go along, because having more elements to choose from means that more possible pairings are available. In fact, once you’ve discovered enough elements, you’ll inevitably put two together you’ve already paired. When this happens, instead of saying that you’ve already discovered the resulting element, the game shows the element again (though no points are awarded), and you’re booted back to the main list. This becomes aggravating after a while.
Another issue is that the icons shift when you tap an element group. If you want to try combining something in the microbe group with something in the death group, you’ll have to tap the microbe icon, wait for the icons to shift, then find the death icon and tap it. It’s a small annoyance that could have been avoided with a few design tweaks. On the other hand, the game’s interface is extremely intuitive, so there’s hardly any learning curve at all.
Directions so simple, they fit on one screen.
The visuals in Doodle God are also superb. While the game is nothing more than a series of menus, the art style is distinctive and visually interesting. The audio is equally pleasant. When you create a new element, you’re rewarded with one of several versions of a choir belting out a sing-song “Halleluja!” The game feels downright biblical.
If you get stuck and can’t find any more matches, there’s a hint system to help you out. Sometimes it’ll show you a new element and leave it up to you to figure out how to create it. Other times it’ll show you two groups and say that matches between the two have yet to be made. We found this to be just the right amount of help, because puts nudges you toward a match, but doesn’t take away the sense of accomplishment from finding it.
Explaining Doodle God doesn’t do the game justice. There’s a lot to discover and a ton of fun to be had just by tapping around and trying out different combinations. And for you penny-pinchers, the developers say there’s more content on the way in the form of free updates. So if you get hooked by gotta-find-’em-all gameplay, give Doodle God a shot. You’ll be a believer in no time.