Review: Doodle Devil
Working in the same realm as the Xbox Live title Doodle God, but naturally in opposition, is Doodle Devil. Starting with a few building blocks, can you create every evil thing in the world and balance out all the good things created in Doodle God?
Version Reviewed: 220.127.116.11
Previously, you'll recall Doodle God, where a few nice elements were the building blocks of everything good in the world. In Doodle Devil, the same principle is on show, but here it's about creating 'evil' and 'wrongness' in the world - as witnessed by the first tutorial move, showing you combining 'human' with 'apple' to create the new elements of 'sin' and 'knowledge'.
From those two building blocks (along with the traditional alchemical elements of 'fire', 'earth', 'air', and 'water') you can build up other elements, and the challenge is to have a complete set of evil elements totalling 157.
These are categorised through sixteen groups, groups which you discover as you unlock each element from a group. So you might start with a group of 'elements' and 'humans' and this would be joined by buildings, beasts, and more.
A lot of the fun in Doodle Devil is the surprise of what you get when you create a new element. You can be sure that you're going to get something when you combine 'man' and 'woman', but what you actually get (and the associated icon) is a little reward for a successful piece of deduction. It's also worth pointing out that Doodle Devil has a 'child safe' mode which removes seven elements from the gameplay which could be considered of an 'adult' nature.
Doodle Devil is a nice slice of lateral thinking, although when you start getting upwards of forty elements to sort through it can get a bit difficult to find the exact element you want to try combining. It's also relatively easy to discover new combinations through a trial and error process of selecting one element and trying every other element available in order till you get a match - but where's the fun in that?
Doodle Devil is a continuous game. By that, I mean when you leave the game, all the elements and groups you have already discovered will still be there when you come back to the title. As long as Doodle Devil is on your handset, you'll be on the same quest to find the 157 elements. At least you will be until you hit the reset button and wipe out all the elements so you can start again.
If you enjoyed Doodle God on Xbox Live, then Doodle Devil is more of the same, with the subtle sense of humour from the developers, except this time the humour can be a little more broad and base, given the subject matter. I actually prefer Devil to God in this respect.
But there's no getting away from the fact that Doodle Devil, much like Doodle God, is a bit of a grinding game that's far too easy to complete through brute force attempts at every single combination. The nice gaming spirit to stop and think about the elements being combined doesn't last long, as the temptation to go for the grind is huge.
I've actually rated Doodle Devil slightly higher than Doodle God, and I think that comes down to two elements. The presentation in this version is slightly darker in colour and tone, which works for me far better than previously, and because it is published as an indie title, it's a touch more focused.
By losing the Xbox Live requirements, such as the 200 gamer points that are available with each Xbox Live title, their loss focuses the game a bit more on the central challenge. Not every gamer is an obsessive 'must complete the list' person, and for those of you who aren't, then Doodle Devil may end up as one of those nice ideas that you eventually become bored of after tinkering for a week or two, but for those of you in the other group, Doodle Devil is your latest obsession.
Enjoy it while it lasts!
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at