Jump Up, Jump Up and Get Down
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Doodle Jump is one of those games that, if you have a smartphone using one of the modern operating systems, you've probably heard or seen at some point. In these games, which are available on platforms such as iOS, Android and even on the Xbox 360 for those with Kinect, players control a small alien creature called the Doodler, whose only mission in life is to bounce repeatedly on platforms, reaching new heights and fulfilling his dreams, until he makes one mistake and his life as he knows it crashes down around him. You see, Doodle Jump is more than just a game: It's an allegory of what everyone is trying to accomplish in life...What? Too much? Yeah, all right, this is the 3DS adaptation of one of many endless jump games available on mobile, and without waxing too philosophical, we'll investigate whether or not Doodle Jump Adventures for the 3DS is worthwhile, or if you may be better off sticking to the phone variants instead.
Doodle Jump was mostly known for being an endless jumper, which Adventures differs from because it focuses on providing players a finite number of levels with various different obstacles and enemies to get in your way, instead. Adventures still plays very much like its mobile predecessors: Rather than use the directional or circle pad, this game uses the 3DS's gyroscope for character movement on the axis, requiring tilts to the left and right in order to enemies, objects and land on platforms.
Now, while the 3D is implemented in an okay fashion in that it makes the platforms pop a little from the background, it does bear mention that on a 3DS XL, it can be extremely difficult to stay within the, 'Sweet spot' for the 3D effect while tilting the 3DS left and right, commonly resulting in double images and missed platforms if a player tries playing with the 3D active (as this was a download title, I was unable to test the 3D effect on my wife's original 3DS to see if it's just the minimal effective range on my XL that caused this problem or what).
Now, if there's anything to say about Adventures it's that the stages in the Adventure mode (who'd have thought that'd be the name of the mode) are pretty well designed, and some of the later stages may require multiple attempts to get through since dodging multiple black holes to grab the collectible coins and still land on platforms so that you don't die in the process can make even experienced gamers have to try a time or two. Overall, the stages in the Adventure mode are quick, bite-sized offerings of the classic Doodle Jump experience, so it's safe to say that if you enjoyed the original mobile version of the game then there's a solid chance you'll enjoy this too.
While continuing through Adventure mode, you'll come across a boss every so often, as well as having coins in each stage to collect that will unlock new bonus stages for players to complete, which can slightly increase replayability. Power ups, such as jetpacks and springs to gain you more air per jump, are also among the things players can take advantage of while trying to complete this mode.
After beating Adventure mode, players will get access to the classic Doodle Jump experience: Endless mode. Endless mode, as you would expect, is the one where players will continuously play and try to best their top score time and again, never resting until they finally invest properly on Wall Street, get the house and job they deserve, only for it to all be taken away by an ill-timed jump into a cannon ball. Okay, so the analogies need some work, moving on...
The graphical presentation of Doodle Jump Adventures is about the same as you'd expect if you've seen the mobile version of the game: The graphics are vibrant and everything looks, well, like a colored doodle, which is the obvious intent. The sounds are all very much fitting, with amusing effects throughout and obvious sounds, such as a cha-ching, when grabbing coins, but there's really nothing spectacular about the music tracks or the sounds themselves.
Overall, there's really nothing inherently wrong with Doodle Jump Adventures. It's very similar to the mobile phone offerings...but at a much, much higher cost. The iOS and Android versions of Doodle Jump are under $1, while the 3DS offering at retail $30, which is a pretty significant markup for what is basically the same game. Throw in the fact that it's a little more unwieldy to use the 3DS's gyroscope for constant play than it is for a phone, for at least a game such as this, and you have yourself a quandary of, 'Is it really necessary to have this on my 3DS, as well?'
If this is a game that you can get a hold of at a discounted price or maybe just want the occasional thing to keep yourself preoccupied between breaks, then there's really no reason to avoid Doodle Jump Adventures because it does nothing inherently wrong. However, it likewise doesn't do a whole lot to distinguish itself from its 99 cent offering, which makes the initial buy-in on the game rather daunting unless it's on an eShop sale or a retail fire sale.
Vincent is an RPG lover and masochist who constantly gets beaten in online fighting games. When in doubt, Shoryuken or Megidolaon. You can write him at : PookandPie@gmail.com.