Doughlings: Invasion – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade Shooter
Developer: Hero Concept
Publisher: Hero concept
Platform: Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Doughlings: Invasion – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Colourfull Great soundtrack Smooth gameplay
Bad: Gets repetitive quickly big learning curve
User Score
7.9
(7 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.9/10 (7 votes cast)

Are you ready to shoot up some baddies and kick it old-school? Then we’ve got a game that will play your heartstrings. Doughlings; Invasion is a super colourful arcade shooter developed and published by Hero Concept, and is a sequel to Doughlings: Arcade. It’s a modern tribute to classic arcade shooters, mixed with amazing colours and a very funky soundtrack. Get through countless waves of enemies, defeat crazy bosses and free your fellow Doughlings from their slumber.

Story

A meteorite crashed into the village of our beloved Doughlings. Not only did that event shake the foundations of their society, but it also started releasing some sort of gas that started making every Doughling aggressive towards everything, and everyone. Morpheus quickly realized this and started his own investigation into this weird epidemic that was striking his city. Upon researching this weird meteorite, he quickly realized that what he stumbled upon was no ordinary meteorite, but this was actually a weapon of mass destruction, threatening the lives of everyone in the city. Suddenly the skies turn pitch black due to tonnes of space ships filling the air, so with his back against the wall and his city in shambles, Morpheus decides to take up arms and save his fellow Doughlings from the evil aliens, becoming the hero they need.

The intro to the story is a narration over picture slides that give you a brief rundown of what transpired. This also plays every time you restart a level or restart the game, which can get tedious, but you can just simply skip this with the press of a button.

Graphics

This game has a very flashy color palette that matches its goofy nature perfectly. It also uses these colors to give players valuable information about the aliens, depending on what color they are, you have to shoot them multiple times. Everything looks very fun and it really pleases the eye how well the developer combined everything in a smart way to make it work. It’s clear they put in a lot of work in this. Sadly, it seems that they didn’t put the same amount of effort into the backgrounds of the level, even though there is a bit of variety, it’s barely noticeable.

Sound

Doughlings: Invasion has a very funky soundtrack that has a bit of an old-school vibe to it, which really suits the overall feel of this game. This is a big contrast to the little song you get when you reach game over, which sounds very slow and pretty depressing.

Your main and only weapon has the generic shooting sound you would expect in arcade shooters, luckily all the personas you eventually have at your disposal each have their own attack which sounds completely different. Along with these sound effects, the aliens always make a distinct sound when they are defeated, which is a great way of the game to let you know that you can move on to another one. Sadly, the narrator says everything, from the name of the wave to the powerup you use, and even the persona you become when you morph, which cannot be skipped in battle. This can all become very tedious if you decide to dedicate a good portion of time into this game.

Gameplay

Doughlings: Invasion is a full-fledged arcade shooter, taking a lot of inspiration from games like Galaga and Space invaders. This means there will be a lot of enemies on your screen and a lot of bullets for you to dodge. You’ll find some places where you can find shelter, but these also break if they are shot too many times. Every shot that hits you will take one life out of your pool. Once this health pool reaches zero, its game over. During each level, there are some moments where you can either regain a life you lost or even add one to your pool.

There are three difficulty settings in this game, starting at normal, then hard and lastly insane, but you can only start the game in normal mode. It isn’t until you beat the game on normal mode that you get to challenge yourself even more with the higher difficulty settings.

In the battles of Doughlings, you gather likes and these drop from the aliens you shoot. These likes charge the spotlights shining down on Morpheus and if you successfully light up all ten, you get to use your “show off” ability and do some serious damage to your enemies.

During the actual fighting, the alien Queen will fly over the battlefield three times and this is your chance to hit her and grab you some of that precious elixir. This elixir is the way you upgrade the skills Morpheus has, but also the way to upgrade the personas Morpheus will acquire down the line. These personas are special morphing abilities Morpheus learns along his journey, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are able to defeat all the aliens on screen before the Queen does her second or third fly-by then you automatically gain elixir as a reward for completing that wave so fast.

For each successful hit you do you also get points, but the amount you get depends on what color the alien is when you hit it, but you can stack up your multiplier by not missing a single shot. This goes up to a maximum of times ten and keeping it that high really gives you a boost in your score. The latter will boost your place on the leader-boards, since those track time and speed of completion.

One thing that will sneak up on you is the challenge this game offers, it looks and sounds very funny and goofy, but it’s very punishing. Each level is ten waves, including the boss, but if you die on wave nine, or even the boss, you are forced to restart from the beginning. Even all the upgrades you purchased along the way are lost. While this might not be a problem when it happens on level one, it becomes increasingly frustrating the further you progress.

Conclusion

Doughlings: Invasion is a beautiful looking game on the surface, but could have used a bit more time to put the same attention to detail it did in the obvious stuff, as well as the less obvious. The challenge this game has to offer is fair but punishing and it surely has a pretty steep learning curve if you want to go deeper into this game. This can be very rewarding for some people, and while we certainly appreciated it, most of the times it just feels more like a hassle to restart the whole mission than just being fun and enjoyable.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.9/10 (7 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Doughlings: Invasion - Review, 7.9 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
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