Indie Game Review: Your Doodles Are Bugged

Your Doodles Are Bugged by Spyn Doctor Games is a challenging puzzle game that utilizes resource management to go along with insane background features. The end-result is a fun game that can at times be frustrating.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snr1ExNffVE

In Your Doodles Are Bugged, a clumsy apprentice knocks over the jar of bugs belonging to Doodleus the Master Doodler. Now all of his bugs have infested all of his doodles. You must carefully add lines to the doodles in order to rescue the bugs from the drawings.

Your Doodles Are Bugged is a series of puzzles that require you to guide a bunch of bugs to a pot of honey by drawing lines through a maze of background doodles. As the game progresses, the doodles become more complex and the ability to solve the puzzles becomes more difficult. New obstacles appear that can kill the little bugs or even alter the bug’s sense of gravity. The game is reminiscent of Scribblenauts and Mario Minis although the gameplay is not exactly similar.

The bugs have no set path to follow; they just merrily plod ahead. If for some reason the bugs are having a difficult time in one direction, they will just turn around and go the other way. So, you need to gently guide the bugs to their destination using only the magic ink you have to alter the image and add lines. Some of the bugs are fickle and will need some coercing to go where you want, and that is where some issues arise. The game requires a certain amount of precision, so if you have a few pixels out of place, the bugs with get trapped or refuse to go the way you want them to.

One of the greatest obstacles of the game is ink-management. Even with all the twists and turns throughout the game, making sure you have enough ink to get the bugs through the level is a daunting task. This single feature is what separates Doodles from similar games with limitless drawing ability. Knowing what you can do with a small amount to do it is important for success.

Doodles becomes difficult as time progresses, but it is the sort of challenging-Sudoku-puzzle difficult. You need to work on a section of the puzzle at a time and only sparingly focus on the big picture. Some of the frustration is from the stylus-like controller. Playing on the computer is much easier to control than on the Xbox, but a DS port would be fantastic, as would playing on a tablet.

As the levels continue on, the background doodles become more and more complicated. This, while creating more difficult puzzles, will make instances of where the little bugs get stuck in crevices and will not easily get out. Doodles does have a semi-cheat available to it. Since the game only utilizes a set pen size, yet allows ink retrieval, one can shrink ink paths and re-use some of the ink for other platforms. This is extremely handy in later levels when  you need more ink than you actually have.

Doodles also utilizes a timer to display how quickly you can solve a puzzle. The feature is handy, but can also become very disheartening once you realize you spent so long on a particular puzzle. The game also has a fast-forward feature that makes the little bugs go a little quicker. The tradeoff is the time also goes at a quicker pace. So, while a puzzle may only take 15 or so minutes to complete, the timer will show upwards of an hour.

The game does have some comedic points. To start off each puzzle, a little bug tells a tidbit of a backstory. While the backstory is ultimately pointless, the little bug is quite entertaining if you decide to listen to him. However, listening to the bug is not necessary to understanding the game and can be skipped over.

Perhaps the best reward for completing the game is a drawing mode where you can create your own doodles to play on and share with other doodle masters. This definitely adds hours to the original game and is quite fun to create and play your own levels.

Your Doodles Are Bugged is a puzzle game that becomes frustrating and difficult s time progresses. A puzzle taking 20 minutes to complete will not become uncommon, and deciding to quit a puzzle is more likely than not. However, as will other puzzles, after walking away, a solution may present itself upon return, and a general sense of accomplishment is felt upon completion.

*Author’s Note: In a fitting twist of coincidence, the copy I was playing became corrupt and had to be reinstalled.

 

Final Rating: 8/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Steam
Time to completion: 4 hours
Gamer Score Earned: No gamer score, but Steam version does have achievements.
Price Bought at: A code was purchased as part of the Indie Gala Bundle
Current Price: $10 on Steam /240 Microsoft Points ($3)
Recommend Purchase Price: $2-3
Why you should buy it: If you love puzzle games and are looking for a new one to both challenge and entertain you.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: If you genuinely hate puzzle games and do not want any type of frustration.

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