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Kidslox reviews: Doodle Jump

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doodle jump reviewThe iPhone and Android games veterans among you will easily recognise today’s app review title. Doodle Jump. It was released in 2009 as a game for iOS and then, after warm reception, was released for Android in 2010. Now it’s available on at least nine platforms, is one of the top 20 paid applications in Google Play and one of the mobile gaming’s favourite titles.

About Doodle Jump

Gameplay is very simple. You play a 4-legged yellow/green character named “Doodler”. It can jump and shoot enemies from its horn-shaped nose. Your aim is to go as far as you can by jumping from platform to platform, trying to avoid or shoot monsters, UFOs and black holes and collecting different objects to help propel you further in the scrolling platform environment.

You can play by yourself and the game supports multiplayer mode as well. Your opponent can be your friend on the same sofa or a stranger on another continent.

The graphics are stylistically simple and reminiscent (as the game’s title suggests) of something doodled in the margin of a school book or lecture notes. This sets the tone and together with the cute sounds and simple game physics, a cheerful note pervades all elements of the game. On top of that the paid version is relatively cheap.

“Fun and addictive”

The game is widely well reviewed. The only negative point being it’s repetitive nature and lack of depth (features inherent in this genre of games). It’s simple to learn and understand and you could even make a case for it helping to develop fine motor skills as the Doodler is controlled by tilting the screen accurately. I was struck though as I read some of those reviews by how often the game is described as “fun” and “addictive”.

Here are a few examples:

  • “I think that this addictive endless ‘jumper’ is totally amazing with hours of fun!!!”
  • “Good game when you’re bored! It is so much fun that I played it for 2 hours non-stop!”
  • “It’s so easy to play. My little sister loves playing it and so do I”
  • “I like the game because it’s fun and addicting”

We’ve written before about the fact that games are intentionally designed to be addictive and endless. In the case of Doodle Jump those qualities are displayed prominently as attractive features of the game. Personally this makes me pause for a moment. I don’t want this simple game to “play” me or my children by consuming all our time.

So, to play or not to play? Statistically you probably already play it. It is fun and entertaining. It can be a good game to pass over to your child for 10 minutes while you’re waiting in a queue. But make sure you set some specific screen time limits if you plan to introduce Doodle Jump to your children.

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