With mobile gaming on the rise thanks to the popularity behind the casual gameplay of Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope andDoodle Jump, mobile developers have been trying to reach new audiences on consoles. While Rovio will be bringing Angry Birds to the retail market, its already a hit across every platform imaginable. Fruit Ninja — an exclusive Kinect only title — showcased the transition from touch controls to gestures can not only be possible, but intuitive. Doodle Jump was one of my first games that I downloaded when I purchased my first smart phone. Never getting anywhere in the game (did the android version even have different stages?), brought the Kinect out of the closet and cleared out the living room, giving myself a sizable area to play the recently released Doodle Jump for Kinect.
Instead of having to hop or squat every time your cute little doodle creature wanted to jump — the character will continuously jump throughout the game — you’ll be sidestepping to the left and the right manipulating where the character will land. Stages consist of hopping your way across various floating platforms, some which will crumble after being bounced on, until your reach the end. The early stages are fairly simplistic, but once the game begins to adding different gameplay elements, the controls start to become convoluted and a chore to manage.
Power-ups require additional motions, including hand clapping, and hopping, while you are still sidestepping back and forth avoiding enemies and trying to successfully land on a platform. The shooting mechanics require you to wave your arm around to aim at enemies. Normally this wouldn’t be an arduous task, but aiming while continually hopping across platforms wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Maybe it was due to my distance away from the Kinect, but the steps I needed to take to move from one side of the screen to the other were relatively huge. If I was too close to the Kinect, the game never indicated as such, so I have no way of knowing.
Check points in the game barely provide any assistance, as they are far apart from each other, especially given how easy it is to miss a platform or hop into hazards. Doodle Jump does feature 30 stages, but don’t expect to finish them in a single session. The check point system will make sure you will be attempting certain sections multiple times.
Doodle Jump for Kinect is not the same simplistic game it was on mobile devices. Playing with the Kinect does add some freshness to the title, but at the cost of performing too many motion at a single time. If the game included a traditional control method, the game would still be as enjoyable. At a $5 price point are the new stages, enemies and bosses enough to warrant the price tag?Note: Doodle Jump for Kinect was reviewed on Xbox 360. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.