A Doodle Jump clone that brings nothing new to the table except somewhat flaky controls, Garfield Pooky Quest is a game that’s probably best avoided. Admittedly, it’s not a complete bungled mess, and we have certainly seen games take bigger dive-bombs into “avoid at all costs” territory. But if the best thing your game has going for it is a licensed cat whose popularity peaked decades ago, it’s probably time to reevaluate what you’re doing.
Pooky Quest takes the now-classic Doodle Jump, waters it down, and plops Garfield into it. The goal of the game is to bounce upward on a never-ending series of platforms in order to get your beloved stuffed animal Pooky back. That’s a strange premise for a limitless high-score game, because the poor feline will never be able to reach his favorite toy.
The most famous fat cat of all.
Environmentally, there’s not much going on here aside from a bunch of platforms. Some of them break under the weight of Garfield’s lasagna-loving mass and some move from side to side, but most just sit there. Candy, toys, and what look like piles of firewood are scattered around, and collecting them gives you extra points. The occasional enemy perches on a platform, but they don’t do anything other than stand there.
Tilt controls are your only option in this game, and they feel a little stiff. It’s playable, but not as responsive as Doodle Jump, so you’ll suffer a few accidental deaths early on. And it would be nice to be able to attack the enemies, but apparently Garfield has been declawed.
The enemy is safe: you can’t attack.
Another curious omission is online leaderboards. Since the point of the game is to rack up as high a score as possible, it’s a shame that you can’t compare your scores to others playing the game. It also has no pause button, so once you start a game, the only way out is by hitting the home button on your iDevice.
One thing Pooky Quest does have is voice acting. How this plays out in the game is that, as you collect the various foodstuffs scattered throughout, Garfield will say stock phrases like, “Hey, no peanut brittle!” But he has a limited number of quips, and since you’ll hear them frequently, you’re in for a lot of repetition. Thankfully, you can turn the sound effects off.
Garfield Pooky Quest is not a terrible game. It looks and sounds good, and it’s possible to get sucked into a mad quest to nab an ever-higher score. The problem is that it lags behind its doodly inspiration in nearly every way that counts. So unless Garfield is the center of your universe, grab the time-tested classic Doodle Jump instead.