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Doodlehex DS Review

23/03/2009 Family Teen Gamer Review
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Doodlehex DS




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Okay, how to explain this? Doodle Hex is a kind of drawing game (hence the Doodle), where you take part in some kind of magic tournament at some kind of magic school. You draw spells (hence the Hex) to attack your opponent. You know - magic stuff. Doodle Hex seems to be honestly original - I can't think of anything like it - but it just wasn't my kind of game.

At first look, Doodle Hex appears to be fairly straightforward. You'll start with a few basic spells, and there's not a lot you can do. But soon you'll gather a nice set of increasingly complex and powerful runes, and tactics become all important. You've got runes to disable your opponent's shields, but if you don't weaken the shield first with a kind of decoy rune, it'll have no effect. If you time your scribbling well, you can pull of strings of combos.

Of course, each type of rune travels at a different speed, so if you draw things at the right time you can do a whole load more damage. Oh, and you have a pet that stores a rune and perfects it, causing it to bypass the enemy shield. I'm not totally sure why, or how (I'm assuming magic), but it's another thing to keep an eye on.

Unfortunately, I found it a struggle to play the game enough for significant tactics to come in. Just because it's original, doesn't mean you'll like it, and I just didn't enjoy Doodle Hex enough to put in the effort. Because as you may have figured out, it gets really hard after a while. All that tactic stuff I find so confusing, the enemy manages to pull off perfectly. So, after the first few levels, when the difficulty starts to climb and climb your combos start to suffer whilst the opponent blasts you with every possible hex combination.

You've got a cool game style you draw shapes to attack.

So, I'm not a big fan, but I know my brother plays it quite a bit more, so I've asked his opinion. He wasn't as overwhelmed by the difficulty curve as I was, so he got further into the game. Unfortunately, this throws up another problem. After a while, you find out just how repetitive the game really is. You've got a cool game style you draw shapes to attack. But where do you go from there? Well, with Doodle Hex, you'll get more, and more and more shapes. And the opponents will get even more spells than you will, to the point where you have absolutely no idea what most of their hexes are actually doing. Why have I been turned into a pig? And what does that swirly vortex do? All questions left mostly unanswered, although I think magic could play a part again.

I think my dad's reaction sums it up for me. After he'd played it for a while, I asked him what he thought of the game, and he simply shrugged. What is there to say about Doodle Hex? Sure, it's original and it's great for it, but none of my family has any motivation to press onwards into the storm of rune barrages. I'm not saying that it's a bad game, the foundations for something really fun are certainly there, and it can be fun to play in short bursts. However, I think it'll be a rare occurrence where I want to play Doodle Hex again.

Written by Rowan Brown

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Rowan Brown writes the Teen Gamer column.

"I write about my favourite games from a younger person's perspective. It's often surprising how different this ends up to other more grown up reviews."

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