Day 164: Your Doodles Are Bugged!

Posted: 2011/04/22 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #164, and today’s game is “Your Doodles Are Bugged!”.

This game was suggested by Kris Steele of FunInfused Games at the end of his third interview with WMD, posted earlier today. He did me a huge favour by suggesting it. I was a big fan of Lemmings back on the Commodore Amiga, and it’s a treat to have a game like that to enjoy again, this time on the Xbox 360. However Your Doodles Are Bugged! takes the concept to the next level, providing some huge playfields and the ability to zoom in on discrete areas to lead your bugs to their goal. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, from the developer (Johannes Hubert and his studio, Spyn Doctor):

“A magic explosion in the studio of Doodleus the Master Doodler has hexed his pet bugs into his doodles. Grab the magic pen and help Doodleus to free them again. Do you have the skill and precision to handle hundreds of bugs at once? Do you have what it takes to be a Master Doodler?”

In many ways the game is streamlined over Lemmings, which presumably was an inspiration. Whereas Lemmings provided you a wealth of special abilities to assign to your Lemmings, which ought to have been a plus to freeform gameplay, it often seemed that there was only one correct way to solve a level despite all the arrows in your Lemmings quiver. Rather than bugs with special abilities, in Your Doodles Are Bugged! you draw on the screen to create ramps and barriers to lead your bugs to the golden honeypot that is their goal, and that simplicity (paired up with larger playfields) offers more possible winning solutions. Whereas Lemmings had some levels that were fairly wide, they were rarely particularly tall: Your Doodles Are Bugged!’s levels offer much more room to manoeuvre, and it works well for the game. It also helps that you can often un-do mistakes, by leading your bugs back to where they started if your intended solution doesn’t work, and also by your ability to erase lines that end up complicating things more than they solve them.

Your doodle bugs can also jump over obstacles, though the game makes this interesting by the fact that not all bugs seem to jump the exact same amount, forcing you to react on the fly to keep a few stragglers with the main pack. Other elements that ramp up the challenge as you play through later levels include limiting the amount of ink you have to draw with, and red sections of each sheet of doodles that will kill your bugs if they touch them.

This is all done with some pretty nice presentation. Normally I prefer gritty realism over charm, but this game’s charm works for me: from the story tidbits between levels telling the tale of a wizard who earns a living drawing magic doodles for people, to the fact that the narration is performed by one of the wizard’s animated doodles, to the imaginative hand-drawn picture that make up each level, to the joyful music.

It’s hard to go wrong with such an imaginative game that costs only 80 Microsoft Points and offers something truly unique. As the only Lemmings-esque game I know of on the system, and one that innovates on the original’s formula (both adding to it, and subtracting from it, in ways that work for the game), I recommend any fan of Lemmings (or anyone who’s never tried it) check out “Your Doodles Are Bugged!”.

Click here to download “Your Doodles Are Bugged!”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.

Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? “Share This” and invite them to.

  1. BlockeyGames says:

    I started playing this game and fell in love. Very good game.

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