Turning, simply-drawn graphics, a short learning curve, and familiar elements of classics like Frogger, Super Mario, and Space Invaders combine to make Doodle Jump by Lima Sky one of the most highly-rated games in the iTunes store. The game takes place on a sheet of graph paper.The only controls are tilt and tap. Help the Doodle Jumper, a friendly looking creature who could be the son of Q*bert and the great-grandson of Cryll , make his ascent into infinity by jumping from platform to platform and avoiding perils along the way.

At first, the green kosher dill-looking platforms are so closely-spaced that the game almost plays itself. Just tilt the iPod to move from side to side. The jumper leaps upward as soon as his feet hit the surface of a platform. Watch out for rotten logs. They split when he hits them and he will drop until he hits a solid platform or ends the play. Coiled springs on some of the platforms give the little dude some extra lift, and he has a propeller beanie and a jetpack waiting for him above to give him brief flights upward. You’ll also find some blue platforms that move laterally and gray platforms that move up and down to give extra maneuverability. The screen wraps, so you can drop the Jumper off the edge and bring him back immediately on the other side of the screen to continue his climb. The higher he climbs, the higher your score. Other features include the scores of Doodle Jump players that appear at the edge of the screen and the ability to post your scores to Facebook or Twitter.

Danger lurks in the higher altitudes: flying monsters that can bring the Jumper down with a touch, black holes in the graph paper that will suck him in, gold platforms that turn red and crumble after a second or so, and a flying saucer with an abduction ray. Monsters can be avoided by grabbing a protective bubble that usually appears a few levels below the threat and, with a tap; the Jumper shoots pellets out his snout that will bring down a monster or a saucer. Whether a pellet can eliminate a black hole is unknown. Firing anything into a black hole is risky, so if you try it and wind up trapped in a parallel universe where Fergie is your mom, Dick Cheney is your dad and you spend 65 hours a week writing Excel macros for a Cleveland accounting firm, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Although the graphics are simple and hand-drawn, the level of detail in Doodle Jump is astounding. The propeller on the beanie spins, flames shoot out of the jet pack, the Jumper’s spindly little legs retract when he jumps, the rips in the graph paper are realistic and crisply-rendered, and the goofy retro soundtrack is a perfect match for the action. Doodle Jump is a great game for either extended play or those activities-like phone calls or driving in Houston rush hour traffic-that don’t require our complete attention.


Anonymous said... @ September 28, 2009 at 6:26 PM

It was good

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