Flight Doodle Review

Artful Dodger

Doodles are so last season. I mean, given the chart-topping success of Rovio Mobile’s Angry Birds, shouldn’t we now be seeing a dramatic increase in the number of games that involve pelting irate pigeons at greedy pigs’ houses, rather than yet more attempts at emulating the Doodle Jump formula?

Nevertheless, with Flight Doodle (out now, $0.99), Eyedip LLC throw their hat into the depressingly overcrowded doodle/avoidance/high score ring.

And, in spite of my greeting the arrival of any iPhone game with the word doodle in its title in my inbox with a weary groan and an under my breath mutter of  “aww, here we go again,” I found myself quickly warming to Flight Doodle’s blend of tried and tested how high can you go? gameplay, crudely scribbled visuals, and breezy sense of fun.

First things first, there’s nothing mind-blowingly original or unique about Flight Doodle; it borrows ideas and gameplay elements from a number of well known apps – Doodle Jump (natch), Sketch Nation Shooter, Bird Strike etc, etc – and yet thanks to Eyedip’s artful arrangement of these components, the end-result feels remarkably fresh, and offers up some truly exciting and addictive gaming.

The aim of the game is simple: having raised your hot-air balloon’s anchor with a swipe of your finger, you must ascend as high as possible, avoiding sharp objects and other dangerous obstacles, whilst clocking up a huge score as you go.

Intuitive tilt controls handle dodging from left to right, while it’s also possible to boost, speed-up and slow down your upwards climb by tapping onscreen buttons. As you float through a diverse range of randomly generated, doodled environments, your colorful craft comes under attack from a number of unexpected quarters, including falling thumb-tacks, storm clouds, sky-people that chuck boulders, and much, much more. An array of power-ups can also be collected and utilized en route, meaning both strategy and skill play a part.

Beyond the high-flying core gameplay, Flight Doodle has some fun customization options, which make use of your iDevice’s photo library to pimp your aircraft (I played the game with a balloon bearing the likeness of my pet cat!), and a clutch of Openfeint extras, comprised of the always enjoyable selection of leaderboards and achievements. All things considered, if you haven’t already had it up to here with these type of games, Flight Doodle is well worth taking for a spin.

iFanzine Verdict: The doodle phenomenon may rapidly be running out of steam, but this is one of the better recent attempts at marrying the sketch style with avoidance based gameplay and high-score hunting. Customizable crafts, pretty visuals and a decent amount of content help elevate Flight Doodle above the multitude of similar games.

[xrr rating=3/5]