Review: Doodle Jump Adventures (3DS)

Scrappy

In recent years, many popular mobile games have found themselves being ported to consoles and handhelds, often with mixed degrees of success. Doodle Jump Adventures, based on Lima Sky’s smartphone hit Doodle Jump, is the latest phenomenon to make the transition and much like Angry Birds before it, does a good job of fleshing out the experience to create a fuller, more robust title. But despite the addictive gameplay and additional challenges present in Doodle Jump Adventures, gamers may find themselves wanting more after paying a full retail price — especially when you take into account the mobile version's inexpensive price tag.

In Doodle Jump Adventures, you play as a cute little guy known as The Doodler and tilt the 3DS as he jumps vertically from platform to platform, avoiding increasingly hazardous obstacles along the way. Pressing the Y, X or A buttons will make The Doodler shoot in the three respective directions to eliminate enemies in his way. Getting a high score is the goal in the mobile title, which features different themed levels that go on forever until The Doodler falls or is hit by something, but Adventures wisely features four different worlds with finite levels where the goal is to reach the top, grab the three coins that appear along the way (and the occasional bonus level key) and perform well enough to get three stars at the end.

There are two bonus levels per world where the object is to get every coin. Each world ends with a boss battle that requires the Doodler to jump on large, intricately designed monsters. These levels are generally not too challenging; in fact, we found that perfecting the regular levels was much more of a task — gaining three stars on every level is very satisfying. After playing through the four different worlds, an endless mode is unlocked which plays almost exactly like the mobile game; fans of the original will likely be surprised the first time they try to leap off-screen and come around the other side, as there is now a border that keeps The Doodler on-screen at all times.

Each world has its own obstacles, and they're generally implemented creatively and gradually. Power-ups help to overcome these treacherous dangers; one level, for example, gives The Doodler a weapon which allows him to freeze everything on the screen, including moving platforms, enemies and projectiles. Another introduces grenades that break hard rock that is in The Doodler's way or blocking a coin or key. Each level was clearly designed with care and attention to detail, and there's usually an important reason a power-up is placed in a specific spot. Other power-ups include a rocket that takes The Doodler on a super-fast trip up the level, killing any enemies in its way, a "bush" that shields The Doodler from enemies; and more.

The visuals in Doodle Jump Adventure stay faithful to the colourful, scrappy look of the mobile version, but with a little more detail. The game only incorporates the 3D effect on the menu screen, and it's for the best; the amount of tilting required during play would have caused the effect to break up. The sound is also the same, with funny, tinny effects for enemies, a satisfying "cha-ching" when coins are grabbed and inoffensive and light incidental music on the menus. For those who are used to playing without sound (mass transit is a great place for playing games on an iPhone), they won't be missing anything here.

Conclusion

Doodle Jump Adventures would have arguably made more sense as an eShop download but it's still a respectable adaptation of the franchise, offering a decent amount of content, with addictive gameplay and charming presentation. It's hard to justify that price tag when the smartphone original can be picked up for next to nothing — and tilting a 3DS or 2DS is certainly more unwieldy than a phone — but this enhanced port remains a fun little title which casual and score-chasing gamers will enjoy in short bursts.