Doodle Kingdom Review

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Title: Doodle Kingdom
Developer: 8 Floor Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 143 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: No

There are a lot of Mobile games that have reached the console world in the form of the PlayStation Vita.  Taking a look back on my own reviews, I can think of the Vita ports of many games from the Mobile world.  Chaos Rings on PlayStation Mobile.  2013: Infected Wars.  Plants vs Zombies.  Pocket RPG.  More and more Mobile games are making their way over to the Vita by the week.

Less common are Mobile franchises coming over to the Vita.  How many series have had all of their games come over to the Vita?  Not that many.  Angry Birds has a few games in the form of Trilogy and Star Wars.  Plants vs Zombies only got the first entry.  However, there is another Mobile series to get many releases from its series, and that is the Doodle series, with the like of Doodle God and other games like it.

With the Doodle series coming over to the Vita so often, it’s only been a matter of time before a new entry in the element-mixing series came over as well.  Today, I have a review of the newest entry in the series.  Here is my official review of Doodle Kingdom!

Story

Due to this game not having a storyline, this section shall remain blank

Gameplay

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Doodle Kingdom is a hard game to define because of the uniqueness of how the game is played.  When you go into the game, there are various elements of different genres, depending on what game mode you go into.  At the best of my abilities, I would classify Doodle Kingdom as a puzzle game with RPG elements thrown into the mix.

When you go into the game, you’ll have three different game modes you can go into.  From the Main Menu, you can go into Genesis Mode to get things started, Quest Mode to do various quests once you unlock so much content, and Hero Mode to experience an endless runner RPG.  Out of these three modes, there are a few different things to do.  However, Genesis and Quest Mode will be very similar in nature, much different from Hero Mode.

Genesis Mode will introduce you to elements and how to combine them into new elements.  Your goal of Genesis Mode is to combine elements with others to make new elements.  Then you combine them to make new elements.  This process repeats until you unlock more content.  For example, you need to create the Castle element to unlock the Return of the King quest or a Dragon to unlock the How to Train Your Dragon quest.  You cannot go into a Quest without creating the element that is required for unlocking it.

Creating elements can be a fun process or a tedious process.  You will start with only a few elements and will need to merge them with other elements.  For example, to create Dragon, you must combine Egg with Magic.  To do this, you must combine Flatlands and Life to create the forest.  Then combine the Forest with a Bird to create an Egg.  Then combine the Egg with Magic to create the Dragon.  The entire game in Genesis is comprised of constantly combining elements to make new elements to make new elements to unlock quests until you have made everything possible.

Things can get tedious and you really have to either think hard or take the time to repetitively mix every element with every other element until something new is created and you can move onto the next combinations.  To help, you have Hints that will either tell you how to make something or give you a hint to what something could be made from.  These hints are limited, though, and once your free supply runs out, you must buy them with Blue Jewels obtained from Hero Mode or by buying them with real money.

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Quest Mode is very similar to Genesis Mode in that you are also going through that mode to combine elements into other elements and into other elements.  However, there is a theme to the quests.  How to Train Your Dragon, for example, is much more limited than Genesis because you are only given elements to lead up to creating various different dragons.  It is interesting with themes, but overall, it’s the exact same process as Genesis Mode, but not as extensive.

Hero Mode is the most unique point of the game because it is a completely different genre than anything else that it is in the game.  In Hero Mode, you won’t be mixing elements but rather playing an Endless Runner RPG.  In this Mode, you have a Hero character whom is constantly running through a medieval world from area to area, slaying enemies and bosses and collecting chests in the form of Gold and Blue Jewels that you can use to buy other things in the game, like hints.

The unique part of this mode are the RPG elements.  As your Hero travels through these areas, he will gain experience points and level up, increasing his stats and the effectiveness of the monsters he fights.  During the runs, you can help him by using regenerating health and energy potions (or use potions that you pick up from enemies) or go to the in-mode shop where you can spend gold and jewels on new equipment for him, which have level requirements to be able to equip to make things easier for him.

While the Genesis and Quest modes I found to be repetitive over time, I found Hero Mode to be quite addicting.  It’s very simple, yet every time I went into the mode, I found it hard to leave it and stop tapping on treasure chests and getting new equipment, wanting to see how much further the Hero could go.  Just a little more to the next level.  Just a little more to the next piece of equipment.

The biggest thing about Doodle Kingdom are the Blue Jewels.  These are used for the high-end equipment in Hero Mode as well as temporary and limited hints for Genesis and Quest Modes.  The thing is that these things are not plentiful.  I could spend an hour in Hero Mode and barely get 100 gems, yet the larger equipment or hint packs are the better cost of thousands of jewels.  This can easily coerce you into paying real money for these gems if you wish to have the high-end equipment or are having trouble with Genesis Mode.

The thing to note about this is that they’ve toned down the micro-transactions in the PS Vita release.  The Mobile release had incredibly expensive packs of jewels, even up to the $99 rank.  This is where the developers got better.  The largest pack of jewels in the Vita release is 30,000 crystals.  This costs $49.99 in the iOS release and costs $9.99 in the PS Vita release.  Many of these packs are very cheap so, unless you want everything from the get-go, you could easily get by just spending a few dollars on crystals if you need help for hints.  While this is much better than in the Mobile release, the game does constantly pressure you to buy jewels in the form of background voices that tell you to buy hints.

All in all, Doodle Kingdom can last you a long time or a short time.  I would recommend you do the game in short bursts so things don’t seem overly repetitive.  Regardless, the game should keep your attention for at least a few hours, and many more if you can get into the game’s systems.  If you’re a fan of the Doodle franchise, you should be right at home, aside from the Hero Mode being something the series hasn’t done before.

Controls

The controls for Doodle Kingdom are a mix-up of button controls and touch controls.  The game can be played with the touch controls by themselves or the button controls by themselves.  Some sections are easier with some controls over the other, so you can easily switch back and forth, depending on the situation.

The touch controls are easy enough as you tap the screen for anything you want to do.  There aren’t any pinching or swiping gestures at all.  Whether you’re navigating a menu or fighting a boss in Hero Mode, you will just have to tap the screen.  The button controls are similar.  You can use the Left Analog Stick to move a cursor around on the screen, the X button to choose an option, and Circle to go back to the previous menu.

All in all, these options do work well.  However, the button controls are not as responsible as they should.  There is input lag at times when using the X button to choose an option when using the same option works flawlessly with the touch screen.  This is also a big reason I used the touch screen for most features of the game, especially in Genesis Mode.

Presentation

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The visual presentation doesn’t have any flaws to speak of.  All of the visuals and 2D renders you see in the game are shown and rendered without any jagged edges or inconsistencies.  All in all, the visual presentation looks quite good for what kind of game this is.

The lacking part of the presentation is in the form of lag.  While this isn’t something you’d expect from a 2D game, there are a few areas where the game lags.  Going into Hero Mode causes a delay and the sequences can be very choppy at times, in terms of frame-rate.  The smooth flow in Genesis Mode and Quest Mode can throw you off when you go into Hero Mode because of the lower frame-rate of that specific game mode.

Summary

Doodle Kingdom is the newest entry in the Doodle franchise.  On the downside, the game still pressures you with micro-transactions, and there are lag and input issues with the game’s controls and frame-rate.  Outside of this is a simple and fun puzzle game that is better for quick sessions than long ones.

7/10

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