Doodle God: Crime City is good old Doodle God as we all know it. This time round, as referenced in the title, it’s all themed on crime. Here, you can choose to take on the role of a crime boss or slip into the shoes of a cop, though it really doesn’t matter which way you lean because in fairness, the game largely remains the same either way. The Doodle God concept of matching two items together to create a new item is the crux of play, and something you’ll do regularly until you’ve hit the end-game. Though, is it worth the effort?
No, not really. There’s a total of over five hundred puzzles to work through, with thirty groups and over two hundred and fifty combinations to make. Safe to say, you’ll be working towards either end of the aforementioned spectrum for a number of hours before you hit victory. If you’re a fan of the formula, you’ll no doubt enjoy what’s on offer here. However, if you like your puzzle games to be all that more taxing and all that more elaborate, you’re probably going to feel slightly disgruntled when you clock-in even just an hour of play time.
The game’s campaign is spread across six missions; covering both crime boss and cop stories. Here, you’ll utilize the above functionalities in order to overcome each mission. Whilst it is indeed fun to work out which two mashups create what specific outcome, there’s no shaking the game of its simplicity. The campaign’s few missions are gated, meaning that you’ll need to complete them in sequence. The first major drawback is that the story here isn’t at all that interesting. In fact, it’s downright bland and forgettable.
Much like in the game’s city mode and as alluded to above, you’ll pair items to achieve a desired result. Only here, if you choose the wrong combination, you have a chance of losing and will need to restart the mission if you do so. You’ll follow that thread until you reach the end, with no real deviation to take you off the beaten path. Overall, if you do hit a wall, there’s some ways that you can make the game easier. For instance, in city mode you’re given a number of tasks. Once fulfilled, you’ll earn some money and some additional tips.
These hints serve themselves as light-bulbs that can be accessed to aid you in a pinch. There’s three types to lean on. The first will show you an element that you can create, leaving you to suss out the items that you need to combine. The second will open up two different groups and tell you that there’s a combination to be found within. Finally, the third light-bulb will straight out make a brand new element. Now, you don’t have an unlimited supply of this help to tap into. If you want more, you’ll need to buy them with earned cash.
The aim of the game is to combine and create unique items to progress forward. One example would be that combining a person with a gun would create a robber, whereas combining two robbers would create a gang, and so forth. There’s no shortage of things that you can mashup to make, well, other things. Though, it does become quite monotonous before long. You’ll do this to push the game forward, earning that all important cash along the way to spend on that help and assistance. Like I said, it’s a pretty straightforward title.
You can also purchase three active perks to help you; elements with pairs, show final element, and disable repetition. These perks can oftentimes be a (Doodle) godsend. The latter of which is my personal favorite, allowing you to join the same elements together, over and over, should you forget which ones you have already done. It’s a very easy game to gel with, made even easier thanks to the game’s accessible controls. The UI and menus remain equally as such, giving you swift access to everything you need to keep track of.
Whatever the case, Doodleheads will appreciate this game the most. It really doesn’t try to do anything differently than what we’ve seen from this series before. I daresay it would have been nice to see the franchise stepping outside of its comfort zone, but then, would it still be Doodle God? There’s roughly three hours worth of content here, arguably sitting well with the asking price despite being short. Though even so, and much to be expected, there’s just not enough gameplay variety or even a challenge within to consider it a true puzzler.
In regards to the game’s visuals, there’s a lot of vibrant detail on show here. Doodle God: Crime City is as colorful as it is well presented, though, the game’s audio is an entirely different story. Despite there being a decent selection of tracks to listen to throughout, many of them become repetitive before too long, leading one to reach for the mute button. When all is said and done, Doodle God: Crime City would have been passable had it been more in-depth and interesting, as it stands, even for puzzle fans, it’s tough to recommend.
Doodle God: Crime City just isn’t challenging enough nor interesting enough to recommend. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Doodleheads will find enjoyment here, but if you’re on the lookout for a compelling puzzle experience that innovates and excites, you’re not going to find those qualities in this game.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.