Doodle Jump is one of the big success stories of Apple’s App Store. Selling millions of copies, its breakout sales are perhaps only surpassed by those avian wonders, the Angry Birds.
Now the game has finally made it’s way to Microsoft’s Xbox Live for Windows Phone 7, does it still have what it takes to compete?
Well, yes it does have the potential to sell by the bucket load on WP7, but as to whether that makes it a genuinely good game, I’m not so sure.
The title is a vertically scrolling platform game, where the aim is to get as high as you can before you fall. Your strange little character will automatically bounce on any platform he lands on, and you control the direction he jumps in by tilting the device.
Tapping on the screen will make him shoot any of the various alien creatures hanging around the levels, and you can jump on certain foes to dispatch them.
Various pickups are strewn around the level, the majority of which are designed to help you get vertically quicker, so springs and rockets are usually the order of the day, but there are a few inventive things to collect. There are dozens of different platforms, such as disappearing and moving varieties.
That’s really it in terms of basic gameplay, and it works well as the developer has the balance of the spacing between the various platforms and the degree of movement that tilting provides just right.
I have always found it to be one of those games that you buy, are really enthused by for a couple of days and then it hardly gets played after that. However, there are a lot of people properly addicted to it, and millions of sales can’t be wrong. It just isn’t as addictive as it wants to be.
Whether you find it addictive or not, the Windows Phone 7 version has some major things missing from the iOS version. First of all, Facebook and Twitter integration are out the window, and the cool ability to have your friends high score shown as part of the level as you play is gone, reserved only for the included 8 player (turn based) mode.
There is a free trial, as is the way with Xbox Live, but it is comically short: a sign that there isn’t much more in the full game.
The game does at least have a few extra themes to choose from, selectable by swiping along the bottom of the main screen.
Xbox Live achievements and leader boards are of course welcome, but simply substitute for the ones found in the iOS version, and that hardly makes up for the fact that the game is being offered for nearly five times the price of the iPhone version. Here in the UK, Doodle Jump is 59p on iPhone, but on WP7 it’s an eye watering £2.49. I don’t usually mention prices in reviews, but this really is extortionate.
That aside, what you are getting here is a decent casual game that, despite it’s best intentions is just not as compelling as others in its field. Hexic Rush and Pac Man CE DX are better options to fulfill any casual gaming need you may have.
The omissions I mentioned, combined with the high price are enough to make me give this a more hesitant recommendation than I otherwise would have.