Escape Doodland – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Casual, Indie
Developer: flukyMachine
Publisher: PlayWay S.A., Ultimate Games S.A.
Platforms: PC, MAC, iOS, Android
Tested on: PC with controller

Escape Doodland – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: -Great visual style and audio, addictive gameplay
Bad: -Walks the line between addictive and annoying
User Score
10.0
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (5 votes cast)

Sometimes nostalgia hits you in the head over little things. We’re pretty sure that everyone remembers checkered notebooks. O how inviting were those pages to draw entire doodles on during the boring hours of a school day. Many ballpoints have been emptied, not in the pursuit of knowledge but by students emptying their minds on an innocent piece of paper.

Story

Escape Doodland is a rather simple game and as such has a rather simple story. You are an inhabitant of Doodland, a Doodler if you will. Doodland is a happy and peaceful place until one day it is being attacked by a merciless monster. This red snake-like monster has set its green eyes on you and will chase you to the end of Doodland to taste your doodelicious meat. Run or die sums up the game nicely. The game does not feature any kind of character progression or explanation and serves merely as a means to an end. This is not an issue as trying to weave a story into the game might ruin its simplicity.

Graphics

The game features a rather unique style, it looks like something a bored student might have doodled during class in his checkered notebook. Mind you, that aforementioned student does have some artistic skills. The background is almost entirely grayscale with the foreground having in general one mayor color, for example green in a grassy environment. The enemies will always contrast well with the environment and will mostly be red. There is a wide variety of level backgrounds, next to a classic city scene, there are also levels in the snow, in the Wild West, in the sky and something that look inside someone’s mouth.

Sound

Escape Doodland sports a comical upbeat soundtrack with some light jazz sounds with trumpets and kazoos. This often stand in great contrast with the sound effects such as screaming, farting, burning fires and lightning bolts. Somehow this all blends together very well.

Gameplay

Escape Doodland is a 2D side-scrolling auto-runner and could easily be compared to games such as Mario for easy reference. In this game the scrolling happens automatically, so you have no control over the progression of a level. The complexity of a game can often be deduced from its control scheme. Escape Doodland only features four buttons you can press. Since you have no control over the flow of the level, no buttons are needed to move the character forward. You can however control his upward motion by jumping. In the most basic sense of the game you move forward automatically and you jump to avoid obstacles. Besides jumping you have three fart-powered moves (Yes, you read that right, your flatulence might save your life). As far as movement goes, your farts can boost your jump or make your character dash a certain distance forward, these moves consume matches which you can collect in the level. The last move you have in your arsenal is a fart so gross it can even stun the giant red snake monster that is chasing you. Yes there is a giant red snake monster following you to make the game a little more challenging. The snake moves at a slower speed than you do, so if you take all jumps perfectly, the snake can’t catch up with you. However some of the higher walls will slow you down as well as other obstacles such as fire or lightning bolts. When this happens the intensity grows exponentially. When the red snake monster opens his jaws to swallow you whole, you can release a fart to stun him for several seconds. Usually this is enough to rebuild some distance between the both of you. However in these dangerous moments you easily panic and make a wrong move, leading to your demise either by the red snake monster or just from falling off the map. The maps themselves have plenty of variety ranging from city environments to floating through the skies during a lightning storm with unique obstacles.

The game features two difficulty settings, Hard and Harder. The latter only being available upon completion of the regular Hard difficulty. At the start of the level you have three lives and if you die you lose a life and return to the latest checkpoint you reached. When all lives are lost it’s game over and you need to restart the current level. If you die before reaching the first checkpoint, the level restarts by default. Lives can be earned by picking them up in the level. Each level has at least three checkpoints except the first small tutorial level. The overall difficulty of the game is as the name already states: Hard. The game itself can be described as easy to learn but hard to master, however sometimes deaths feel like they couldn’t be avoided and thus are unfair. When jumping through the clouds it’s not always easy to see where you need to go when the level takes you lower and thus you can fall off the map. Other minor annoyances are when you successfully manage to fart in the red snake monster’s mouth to escape, only to be bounced back into the mouth by an obstacle and having this happen several times in a row. This however does not take away that the game is fun to play and will have you coming back for more. Having almost zero loading time helps the game greatly to keep you interested.

Conclusion

Escape Doodland is a great game if you’re looking to kill some time. Not only does the game feature a unique visual style and great audio, it also manages to walk the line between annoying and addicting. While no game is for everyone, a minimum of agility and endurance are advised if you are to attempt this game. The game has minor flaws but the checkpoints do help to alleviate some of those annoyances. Overall it’s still a fun game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Escape Doodland - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Rex
Rex


I am an Illustrator/Artist who studies Concept Art and Game Design in my free time. Designing things is in my blood and I am always very curious in making games. Motivated and dedicated to become better in every way I can. You only live once and I intend to fully enjoy it! As for gaming itself I do prefer to play the following games: FPS, RPG, Action Adventure Games, Fighting Games, Hack and Slash.

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