In the beginning…
Doodle God: Evolution is a puzzle game developed by JoyBits Ltd for the Nintendo Switch. The original version of Doodle God came out in 2010 and has featured on pretty much all of the major platforms over the years. With each fresh update or new iteration, the experience has been refined and fine-tuned. This Nintendo Switch version contains the now classic and original Doodle God and as a bonus Doodle God: Animal Planet.
The premise of the main game is incredibly simple whichever version play, you are given various different base elements and it is your job to create multiple new things. The choices you make act as catalysts for creating life – for instance, you can mix bacteria and water to make plankton. And this is the whole concept of the game, you play god. Starting out with the most basic forms of life the aim is to increase and adapt from there on in. This core mechanic flows through the whole game but there is a slight twist on this as you are given different challenges to complete on a playthrough. Be it the beginnings of life through to the modern age where you are tasked in making rockets, nuclear bombs and various other things like this computer I am writing on now – it’s all in there.
When you initially start the game you actually have six options open to you – the main game, Doodle God: Animal Planet, Quests, Artifacts, Puzzles and the Encyclopedia. During the standard gameplay, as you create all the different life forms and elements little quotes pop up from time to time and this is where the Encyclopedia option comes in useful. It allows you to go back through all the successful combinations you have ever made and see exactly what was required.
Puzzles are fun
You are challenged to create a specific object from just four random elements or things. To give you an insight, the first of the Puzzle challenges is to create a flower… starting from a nuclear bomb… strange, crazy and sometimes illogical BUT the journey is always great fun to get there. Another great mode is Quests, you are given a central item that you have to create and how you get there is up to you! Basically, combine as many elements as you can to complete it. The first one of these is escaping the desert island you are stranded on, with each creation achieved you get a little bit of story that goes with it.
While people may think this is too simple a concept and not something that will keep you hooked, I say – just play it and give it a chance!. Much like mobile games (version are currently available on iOS & Android), it is easy to drop in and drop out of so if you have a spare five minutes try to make combinations, see if they work before taking a break. It is great for that short commute. What is nice on this Switch release is that there is even a small achievement list to go through, something we are sorely missing out on for the most part. It helps to keep the game going long after you should have finished playing with it, trying to get the last few reactions is always fun and worthwhile.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this game. It’s simple premise, excellent execution and clean visual style all help to make playing fun. It keeps you interested and coming back for more just to see what reactions you are going to cause from the next mix of elements. The price you are paying for the game is fair at £6.29 as you will get a lot of time out of this game for your money.