Mento's May Madness More: #2 - Your Doodles Are Bugged!

May the Second

The game: Spyn Doctor Games's Your Doodles Are Bugged!

The source: The very first Indie Gala bundle.

The pre-amble: Your Doodles Are Bugged! is a puzzle game in which the goal is to help escort a number of jumping bugs to a giant pot of honey. The player has a limited amount of ink to draw bridges and stairways from the bugs' starting point to the honeypot at the end of the level, and barricades need to be formed to stop the bugs from hopping off the contours of the world to their demise. The whole game world is presented as a series of childlike, occasionally indistinct doodles.

The playthrough: This definitely has the kernel of a good idea. The gameplay's something of a cross between Kirby: Canvas Curse and Lemmings and initially starts strong: The player has a lot of ink and can basically scribble all over the page, which helps in finding creative ways to assist the adorable little bug things while a silly little tale told interstitially between stages about the owner of the doodles and the origin of the bugs themselves is interesting enough to keep the player moving from one stage to the next.

They... get tougher. And a lot longer too, alas.

However, the major issue with this game soon dawns in how the central creative gimmick becomes severely underutilized in later levels, when the requisite difficulty spike shows up and the game simply becomes an economic exercise in drawing perfectly straight lines and little stop-over basins to preserve ink, all the while hoping that the heretofore adorable insects don't do something completely unexpected and find a way to glitch themselves into oblivion. They're very unpredictable, unlike the lemmings of their respective games, so future levels become far more of a crapshoot than is perhaps desirable.

Ultimately though, the real problem with this game is that it just becomes tediously routine. The solution is the same each time and the game just drags as each level has you slowly emigrating the tribe of bugs from one area to the next with a limited inkwell. It's not totally unlike playing the first Scribblenauts: You got a sense of the boundless imagination the game could have for its puzzles and then sighed in weary defeat once you discovered that almost every stage required a flying vehicle and a tether to carry some object from point A to point B. Future games in the Scribblenauts series managed to overcome that flaw and become the inventive puzzle games they were always meant to be, so there's hope for this series too. As I said, the kernel's there.

Can't forget the social media elements. A sequel to this game would be a good fit for the Wii U in all honesty.

The verdict: Will not continue.

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