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What's it all about?
Have you ever played a game that was so simple, yet so much fun, you couldn't believe it hadn't been done sooner? That's the case with Doodle Jump. And much like Angry Birds and Robot Unicorn Attack, it is tearing up the App Store charts. It is as simple as the name would imply; you are a doodle, and you jump. That's it. Your character is a small squid/octopus/blob whose only goal in life is to reach the highest altitude possible. He (it?) does this by bouncing off of an increasingly scarce number of floating platforms that go higher and higher. Doodle Jump uses the iPhone's accelerometer for control, so when you tilt your device your character will lean in that direction as well.
Most of these platforms are solid and static. A few, however, will either move backwards and forwards or up and down, making things a bit more tricky. Still other platforms will disappear when touched or explode without warning. This makes the latter stages of the game, when precision is key, frustratingly addictive, but you never blame the game for a mistake. If you miss all the platforms and fall off the bottom of the screen the game is over, and you must start again from the bottom.
The platforms aren't the only obstacles though, as you'll also have to avoid monstrous enemies that can be up to twice your size. Luckily, your little creature is equipped with a snout that fires projectiles that will typically kill an enemy in one shot. You touch the area of the screen that you'd like to fire towards and watch the mayhem unfold. If you want some help playing it check out our Doodle Jump Tips & Tricks.
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Graphics, Sound and Verdict
Again, as the name implies, Doodle Jump is comprised mainly of simple doodle drawings. Your character, the enemies, and even the platforms all look convincingly hand-drawn. The background is simple and uses a static grid pattern on its default setting, with other backgrounds and character models used for seasonal updates such as Christmas and Halloween.
The audio design of Doodle Jump is fairly bare-bones. No real background music to speak of, just the sound of your doodler jumping off each platform with a pleasant blip. Enemies give audio cues to let you know there is one above you, and your projectile makes a tiny shooting sound as well. This is perhaps the only area of the game where I can see room for improvement. Light background music would both add to the game's appeal and, if applied sparingly, would allow all the audio cues to be noticed with little trouble.
Despite the small issue I have with the sound design, Doodle Jump certainly deserves its spot as one of the top all-time paid apps on the iTunes App Store. The regular updates keep new content coming and the seasonal bonuses like costumes for your character are just icing on the cake. Simple, yet challenging, and as addictive as it claims to be, Doodle Jump will likely be what many people remember when looking back on the iPhone for years to come. (If you're itching for a great game to put on your new iPhone 4, you can purchase Doodle Jump here).