Review: Doodle Fit
Unfortunately not a sequel to Doodle Jump (reviewed here), Gamelion's mix of jigsaw and Tetris makes its way to Windows Phone, and provides just as much of an addictive challenge as its arcade namesake. With fun graphics and 100 levels plus 250 solutions to track down, there's a huge amount of value here.
Version Reviewed: 184.108.40.206
Doodle Fit is a jigsaw game. You have a number of pieces on show at the bottom of the screen, which you need to drag into the design at the top of the screen. The pieces are all built from smaller squares, much like Tetris blocks, but they can vary in volume from a simple 1x1 block up to larger pieces of four blocks stuck together. Moving these pieces is very easy, you just tap to drag them, and let go when the piece is in the desired position.
I like the touch here that puts the piece above your finger, rather than directly underneath. That means you can see all of the piece as you attempt to fit it into the puzzle, rather than having the puzzle obscured by your finger. It takes a few minutes to get used to the slight visual displacement, but it makes perfect sense.
One thing to note is that you cannot rotate the pieces or flip them over. There will be moments when you have one piece left to fit into the puzzle, and the space is the perfect mirror image of the piece you are trying to place. Frustrating, but that's what makes Doodle Fit a delightful little puzzle game. Every puzzle has at least one solution and some have more than one which Doodle Fit keeps track of, so you can try to find them all. At no point did I think I had been handed an impossible puzzle, even though it can take a long time to find the actual solution. Thankfully, it's easy to move pieces once they are in the puzzle so you can tinker away and to try and find the solution - you'll be doing this a lot.
Generally, there is one piece (or a small collection of pieces) that belong in just one place. Hence, rather than attack the whole puzzle, try and find these key pieces as you start. That's my hint, but Doodle Fit also has a hint system, which will show you the correct position for one of the pieces. You don't have many of these hints available, so use them wisely.
That explains the 'Fit' in the title, but what about the 'Doodle'? Well, one look at the graphics should answer that, as everything has a hand drawn look. From the buttons on the menu screen through to the rough filing of the pieces, the look of Doodle Fit really helps its charm. I suspect there is far more visceral fun to be had playing a game with this rough style than the same title with perfect lines and solid blocks of colour. Sometimes presentation makes all the difference, and Doodle Fit is a textbook case of a title where this is true.
You have two choices of theme in 'notebook' or 'chalkboard', which are essentially light and dark themes respectively. Always conscious of battery life, I stuck with chalkboard; but it's nice to see you have the option of going for a brighter version if you need to.
I also love the fact that Doodle Fit has 'profiles' available, so your progress in the game is not altered when you hand the game to someone else; or the kids borrow my phone to play a new game.
I'm less impressed with the lack of fast-app switching in the application, and the music is rather uninspiring - a rather weak chip-tune that reminds me of all the poor puzzle games churned out for the Segas and Nintendos of the eighties. Thankfully the music can be switched off, and the functional sound FX of the game can be left intact. These are little more than the occasional 'swish' sound effects and some 'dunk' noises as you place a piece into the puzzle, but that's enough to give you feedback as you play.
The other tiny issue I personally have is that Doodle Fit is a game that I've played on other mobile platforms, so this title is less of a 'oooh this is great!' than a 'hello old friend, where have you been?' to me. I'm really happy to work through it again, proving the replay value is high, and I shouldn't scoff at the 79p cost, but I have seen it all before on other platforms. However, I would point out that this a really good conversion and it doesn't feel like any corners have been cut.
Doodle Fit is a great casual game, and I'm delighted to see it come to Windows Phone and hopefully be discovered by a new audience. It might not be immensely original, but it sets out to have fun with the basic game, and it really succeeds and is definitely recommended.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at