iPhone Review: Doodle God

Written by Joe Martin

August 2, 2010 | 12:06

Tags: #doodle-god #flash-game #free-games-i-like #ipad #iphone-review #ipod-touch #puzzle-game

Companies: #apple

Doodle God shouldn’t really be a game. Viewed objectively it’s almost impossible to see why it would be any fun at all, in fact. And yet, it’s probably the most addictive thing I’ve played in the last months and I find myself getting it out at every available chance.

Doodle God casts you as the clueless creator of a brand new world and tasks you with filling said globe with items, which is accomplished by weaving together the basic elements. You start with the absolute minimum – Fire, Water, Earth and Air – and from there you move forward, creating Dragons, Zombies, Beetles and Vodka by adding things together.

It’s fast, easy going to begin with and the first few combinations are fairly logical – Fire plus Earth creates Lava, for example. As you go on though the combinations get more ludicrous and it becomes more difficult to think of new items and keep track of what you’ve tried already. Within a few moments you move from thinking “What is the point of this?” to spending every waking minute pondering what you can make next.
iPhone Review: Doodle God iPhone Review: Doodle God
How do you make Beer?

You see, Doodle God may look like a rather pointless and tedious exercise, but underneath the icon-driven interface it’s actually an incredibly addictive exploration game. You can spend ages trying to divine new combinations and items out of the world and, while you’re frequently bashing your head against your iPhone in frustration, it always keeps you wondering what’s around the next corner, figuratively speaking.

Our favourite thing about Doodle God though is the way that micro-stories end up emerging from the gameplay too, as happened when we created Dragons and then spent ages trying to find out what could kill them. Dragons plus Humans yielded only Dragons and Ash, and for a while we were stumped. The breakthrough came when we invented Metal, which allowed us to make Tools, then Weapons, turning Humans into Hunters, Hunters into Warriors. Warriors plus Dragons creates Meat, Blood and Heroes.

We admit that we were dubious of Doodle God’s appeal to begin with, as even explained in detail it still doesn’t sound much more interesting than working out all the possible combinations one by one. The proof is in the playing though, as Doodle God eventually turns out to be one of the most interesting games on the store, despite the boring-sounding premise.

Verdict: Very much a recommended game, Doodle God is an absolute classic for the iPhone - and includes more combinations and items over the Flash game that James blogged about previously.

Doodle God is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Buy it from the AppStore for 59p / 99c.
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