It’s tricky business making a pay to play mobile game a full console release, it’s another thing when many of the pay to play mechanics make it into the same release.
The core of Doodle God: Evolution is actually quite fun. You’re essentially combining different elements, raw materials, creatures, and settings together to create new things to populate Earth.
You essentially play a God by building out the planet, filling it with life and nutrients. The game works in chapters and phases, providing you with the most basic of elements, such as water, air, and fire, and then you have to figure out creative ways of combining them together to get other things.
Eventually you’ll get other essentials like Ice, Bricks, and Sand, which will eventually lead you to creating life, bacteria, and major buildings. It’s a gradual process which can be quite satisfying when you’re mixing random combinations together in the hopes of getting something new.
The problem starts coming when the game keeps signposting you towards hints – which you generally have to spend in-game currency on – and you’re recommended to buy an episode or side-story, again using the game’s in-built currency.
You can get access to a hint every few minutes for free, which is something at least. You could also pay for it to speed things up if you want to. There’s also some perks you can purchase to ensure you don’t repeat combinations and see which are the most useful elements to use at any one time.
It’s not uncommon to see this kind of thing in a mobile game, but especially grim when I’m playing it in-between other things on an Xbox One. Honestly, JoyBits would have been better off charging more for the game and removing it all, or making it less relevant. It’s as intrusive as the mobile edition and that’s not a good thing.
The game even makes you agree to a bunch of terms and conditions with your personal email before it lets you in. Which is just wholly unwelcome, honestly.
There’s more content here, of course, with a combination of the original Doodle God as well as a Doodle God Zoo which focuses primarily on creating new species and animals. The game also has a ton of side-stories to get through, including a battle between Good and Evil.
It’s not a game about narrative, of course. The core mechanic is what drives it all on – for better and worse. By unlocking new combinations, you can then take these into the other sub-stories and chapters with you, decorating the world more and more.
Control wise, it controls relatively well onto the Xbox pad, opening the materials book on the left and right hand side of the screen. You use LT to open up on the left side, using the left analog to control everything on that side of the screen, and the opposite on the right hand side using RT and the right analog stick.
There’s not really much more to the game than that. It’s mostly fine and can be enjoyable for a spell, though it’s not really a game you’ll find yourself playing for too long at a time. it also doesn’t feel like it naturally belongs on a console like Xbox – certainly not with the Pay to Play mechanics.
But Doodle God: Evolution has a decent chunk of content with some satisfaction to be had in making some unorthodox combinations. Who doesn’t want to create a dinosaur out of thin air? Or maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea…
+ Can be satisfying to combine various things
+ Decent time synch
– Premium elements don’t really belong in this release
– Controls are a bit clunky
Doodle God: Evolution is now available on PC, PS4, Switch, and XO
Code kindly provided by JoyBits
Tested on Xbox One