Tuesday 22 March 2011

Doodle Jump Hop Review - An Egg-celent Way to Spend Your Easter

This is the very first of a new breed of A113Animation Reviews, namely of an animation linked game. As those of you who follow the blog will know, I am soon uploading a review of Angry Birds Rio (released today), however, as previously reported, Illumination Entertainment and Lima Sky have united to promote IE's upcoming movie, Hop. That is what this very review will deal with:

Obviously, there's not going to be as much to talk about when reviewing an iOS game, as there would be when reviewing a movie, however there is a lot to talk about here. The first thing that strikes you when you play Doodle Jump Hop (which is free by the way) is the look of the game.

Whilst, yes, this game does have the oh so distinctive Doodle Jump look about it (as you can see above), it is a very different looking game in terms of aesthetics. The game has very detailed and intricate backgrounds and set pieces (including the platforms) and as such it is a very good looking game. This also stems from the main character of the game, as opposed to Doodle - the main character of the Doodle Jump franchise -, here we have the protagonist from Illumination Entertainment's Hop, EB. As with the actual game and its background, EB is a very detailed character, considering it is on a small iPod/iPhone screen, there's a lot of detail packed into the game. Taking full advantage of the iOS Retina Display, there is a lot of detail in EB's fur and hair, particularly for a generally simple game like Doodle Jump.

Whilst we're talking about the look of the game, an important thing to say is that this is NOT the same game as the mode added to the full version of Doodle Jump! Whilst it has some similarities, it has a very different look and indeed feel. Whilst the added mode in the full game was really great, this is just a better experience (or egg-sperience if you will) and a far better way to advertise the upcoming film tie in.

As hitherto alluded to however, this is quite a different game to the Doodle Jump norm. Whereas the regular game is about jumping as far and as high as you can, Doodle Jump Hop is much more level focused. Split into several levels with ever increasing score goals that you have to reach, as the levels progress you are drip fed more Doodle Jump features, like moving platforms and monsters. This makes the game feel a step in a different direction, helping to break up the often repetitive Doodle Jump gameplay. The game also works on a similar idea to Angry Birds Seasons' Christmas levels, you are fed a different level every day up until the end. This helps to keep interest to the game (and thusly the movie) and also make the game more of a fun play than the often "play for months and then avoid" type of game that Doodle Jump can become! It also means, that the difficulty is slowly scaled up, so it is not too difficult a game, but it is also no pushover.

However, I do have one or two gripes with the game, nothing huge, but one or two ones that can disrupt a great game like this. The main one being that this, whilst looking slightly different and whilst being set out in a different way, this IS essentially the same game. There is no new gameplay mechanics (whereas Angry Birds Rio looks to change the formula and introduce boss battles), it doesn't reinvent or even change the formula, it just tweaks it, it just puts a different aesthetic on it. Not a bad thing necessarily, Doodle Jump always has been a fantastic game, but it begs the question, other than to advertise Hop, does this need its own game?

Another tiny gripe I have is the absence of a pause button, however compared to the level of fun you will have playing this game, these seem quite small problems. Sure it's nothing fantastically new, but, does it need to be? Without a doubt, you will enjoy this game, and after all it's free.

So I give Doodle Jump Hop a very solid 8/10, I definitely recommend it and it's available in the Apple App Store right now.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know with the reaction feature below or leave a comment to voice your opinion.

Also, remember to keep an eye out for my Angry Birds Rio review later this week, and to vote in the poll to the right.

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