Nov 16, 2011

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Doodle Farm Review

Doodle Farm Review

Anyone who has ever farmed knows that there is a good deal of hard work involved. JoyBits’ Doodle Farm seems to go a different route when it comes to work. Doodle Farm is a simple to play game and doesn’t stray from the formula used in JoyBits’ other popular titles, Doodle God and Doodle Devil. But does following its predecessors’ footsteps guarantee a success for Doodle Farm?

As with the other two titles with “Doodle” in their name, Doodle Farm‘s gameplay is straightforward. It is simple enough for a reading-aged child to understand. You start off with two groups and an animal/element or two in them. To create more elements and unlock the other 15 groups, you tap an element from one group and then tap the second. If this is a successful combination, you will be brought to a screen that shows you what you unlocked. One feature that I thought was nice to see was the ability to read the Wikipedia article about the animal(s) you had unlocked. JoyBits also integrated the ability to update your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The graphics are pleasing to the eyes, and everything is laid out in a easy-to-use manner. They are colorful, and you can tell what each animal is. The square outlines around each animal lets you know if there are combinations you can make with the other animals already unlocked, combinations that can be done once you unlock more animals, or if that animal is the final evolution. The menu and all that are not cluttered.

The background music isn’t distracting and doesn’t drown out the voice and sound effects. The cowgirl voice is only heard when you successfully make a new animal. All sounds can be muted in the options menu. Kids will probably keep the sounds on, but the older gamer might mute it in favor of silence or playing songs from their collection.

There isn’t much in the way of a story for Doodle Farm. You have a short narrative at the beginning that is a bit odd. It seems as if aliens had a hand in aiding a higher power in creating animals. No little story behind how an ant and a mouse can create a cockroach nor what happens once you create every possible animal. For young children, this isn’t really a problem, as many will rather just continue to create animals without having to watch a cutscene or read some text.

Once you’ve completed the different combinations, there is really no need to replay this game. You can restart it with a clean slate, but if you can remember each combination, then the time you’d spend on it will be a lot less. I managed to beat this title in roughly an hour that was spaced out in ten-minute sittings. Younger children will, of course, take their time, and this could be great for car trips that last couple of hours (or more).

Overall, Doodle Farm isn’t a bad title, but this is definitely one for the younger audience. Casual gamers who enjoyed JoyBits’ previous endeavors will like this. Those who prefer more substantial games on their iOS devices likely will pass on Doodle Farm. At $0.99, I think parents of children who like animals should give it a go.

Doodle Farm
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch (reviewed)
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Developer: JoyBit Ltd.
Publisher: JoyBit Ltd.
ESRB Rating: 9+
MSRP: $.99