Sometimes my age as a gamer shows. I’ve lost count of the number of empassioned discussions that I have had with gamers about what makes a good game. While many of the younger gamers will insist that games need a strong story line and immersive graphics and sound to ensure that high quality games are produced, I am adamant that these are all secondary. Back in the 80s all of that was secondary to what really mattered – gameplay. Computers and consoles weren’t able to offer ultra-realistic visuals, orchestral scores nor had the physical capacity to provide gamers with movie-like experiences when it came to storytelling so we had to rely on our imaginations when it came to fleshing out characters and what was happening to them but more often than not, the storylines were disregarded in favour of the games themselves.
Being honest, as a gamer there are times when I really miss those days. As someone with a family and other commitments, I generally don’t have time for elongated gaming sessions so I often look for games that I can play in short bursts but ones that are still able to provide me with satisfying and entertaining gameplay. Doodle Fit, from Gamelion, falls rather nicely into that category and offers players a rather unusual mash-up of games in the process.
In essence, Doodle Fit presents the players with a series of jigsaw puzzles. Now hear me out… it’s not as monotonous as it might sound. In fact, you are presented with a blank geometic shape (or object) and you have to fill that shape completely using several pieces that are at your disposal. These pieces look not unlike Tetris pieces and (apart from rotating them) you have to position them within the shape on screen until they are all used and no empty space remains. Once you’ve filled the shape, go onto the next. Sounds simple? Well it might be but without any guidelines and with some puzzles having more than one solution to them, it’s a lot harder than you might think and there are a lot of puzzles on offer…
The puzzles are grouped together in themes, each with their own visual style. The title of the game comes from the graphics – the puzzles all adopt a hand drawn look and the first set of levels look as if they have been hand drawn (and coloured) using pencils on paper. The second set appear to have been drawn in chalk on a blackboard and so on. There are 12 sets in total with almost 350 puzzles between them giving you plenty to challenge you. Plus, because some of the puzzles have multiple solutions available, this actually means that there are over 600 possible solutions in all!
There’s no time limit to the puzzles so you never feel under any pressure to solve them and the game auto-saves after you complete each puzzle so you can leave it at any time without having to worry about losing your progress – a good job with so many puzzles on offer! If you do get stuck in any particular puzzle, there are hints available but these need to be earned. You start with some and more can be collected as you complete each puzzle but they need to be used sparingly.
Options are fairly limited and mainly consist of altering the music and sound effects volume, resetting the game (allowing you to start from the beginning again) and changing the overall visual theme. These are unlocked as you play so rather than the default “paper” style, if you prefer one of the later level designs you can change the game’s front end to match this. Nothing earth-shattering, but a nice touch.
Graphics are simplistic but well animated for the “coloured in” look and suit the game well. The music maintains the simple, old-school feel and is a chirpy, up-beat chip tune and while it may grate after you have listened to it for a couple of hours, it suits the game perfectly. I would have preferred more music considering how long you are likely to play the game for, but it is rare that puzzle games have much in the way of music.
This was one of those games that I purchased originally for my PSP without really knowing much about it but turned out to be one of my favourites from the Minis range. This game embodies everything that the range should be – small file size, addictive, quick to pick up and play, compelling and addictive gameplay, and something that you can come back to at any time for a few minutes or for longer game sessions equally. It offers an incredible amount of gameplay for such a small game – With so many puzzles on offer it will take you an incredibly long time to complete all of them, and even once you do there is the added challenge of finding all of the alternative solutions that will bring you back to the game until you have mastered it completely.
Quite simply, this is one of the best games available in the Minis range and should be an essential purchase for any lover of puzzle games.
At A Glance
- Title: Doodle Fit
- Publisher: Gamelion Studios
- System: PSP Minis
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 12Mb