As innocuous as the title sounds, Doodle Army is a fantastically intense game. From start to finish, it cranks up the action so far that it’s kind of like the D-Day invasion scene from Saving Private Ryan the whole way though. Except with health power-ups and stick figures.
The character you control is a newbie soldier who learns the basics of warfare along with you in a hilarious tutorial. Only, this soldier turns out to have quite a knack for front-line battle, and immediately starts taking on the enemy army single-handed.
Hail to the king, baby.
Mostly what you do in the game is walk from left to right in a randomly generated environment, using a variety of weapons to mow down everyone in your way. You clearly have no regard for the sanctity of doodle life, and you’re unmoved by the enemies’ high-pitched Chipmunks-style screams.
Which is not to say that the opposing soldiers don’t have it coming. Every enemy you meet unloads on you the moment he gets a chance. Luckily, you can absorb more shots than Scarface, while the bad guys fall much quicker. Each enemy you kill drops their weapon and a heart power-up. Touching these items replenishes your health and ammo.
Twisted fire starter.
Since there are so many enemies, you’ll have picked up a whole arsenal’s worth of weapons after just a few moments of playing, from machine guns to chainsaws to laser guns, depending on what level you’re in. As you play, you unlock new skins for your doodle man, so he’ll cycle through various outfits like an alien, Santa, a commando, etc. You also unlock new levels, but they’re all basically just different skins of the first level.
Get far enough in each level (or turn on “cheats” in the options menu), and you also unlock a minigame or boss battle for each level. The boss battles put you in a vehicle, like a jeep or a battleship, and have you fend off regular enemies as well as bosses in large vehicles. The three minigames represent standard iPhone genres like endless running or high jumping games. These add variety to the game, but probably won’t be enough to keep you coming back for long.
Since the intensity of Doodle Army is turned up to 11 the entire time, it’s a lot of fun to play in short bursts. But because you’re always doing the same thing over and over (shooting at the endless supply of enemies), you won’t want to play for long stretches. For dive-in, dive-out gamers, that will be just fine. For anyone looking for a deep experience, you’d better look elsewhere. Regardless, spending a few minutes with Doodle Army is a fine way to get your adrenaline pumping.