Developer: j2sighte
Price: .99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

There are a slew of doodle-themed games in the app store. From bowling to bouncing to blasting, most, if not all, have been well-received by app store consumers. Doodle Kart is another entry, not just into the doodle-inspired game craze, but in the relatively new genre of top-down racing games, which strays from the stereotypical front-seat game play view perspective, opting instead, to base game play/view from a top-down, bird’s eye perspective.

Doodle Kart further distinguishes itself by incorporating kart racer features/elements into its game play, allowing players to battle others using an arsenal of power-ups and weaponry to inhibit their opponents’ progress while advancing their own.

Doodle Kart is played throughout 25 levels and 5 worlds of colorful, winding, obstacle-laden tracks scribbled on graph paper. Don’t let the smooth taste fool you though, as like any good 40 oz. can of premium malt liquor, the more you drink it in, the higher you get.

While the game’s graphics are “doodled,” they are very well-drawn and incorporated into the academic theme of the game, providing players with a visually-pleasing aesthetic that is colorful, scenic and clever, e.g. tracks are drawn on graphing paper containing doodles of math/physics equations, black holes, etc. and adorned with rulers, pencils, and other various over/under-sized academic paraphernalia.

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Among Doodle Kart’s features:

  • 5 different environments
  • 25 unique tracks
  • 7 items/weapons
  • AI opponent cars
  • Single race (solo/vs CPU) or Championship mode
  • Easy, Normal, Hard, Nightmare difficulty settings
  • Hidden Dark mode
  • Portrait/Landscape mode
  • Control by touch or by tilt
  • Auto gas option
  • OpenFeint integration
  • As for the game’s sound track, I can only say that if you’re a fan of what I can only assume to be Mexican traditional folk music, you’ll love it; otherwise, you have the option to toggle music, as well as sound effects on/off. Speaking of sound effects, Doodle Kart’s are well done, with one exception: The pre-race, beginning countdown will unnerve and/or scare you scribbleless. The screeching tires, rev of the engine and other sound effects, along with the game’s visuals (minus the sound track and loud, annoying beginning buzzer), will provide its players with an immersive environment.

    Players can customize their game play experience using a variety of options offered by Doodle Kart, such as choosing between portrait and landscape mode and “auto-gas” on/off. Players can also choose the color of their car and manually “fine-tune” their racer in 5 different categories.

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    Gameplay is simple, yet deceptively competent and sometimes daunting (fortunately, players are given 4 attempts to win a each track). Players can choose between portrait and landscape mode and control their cars via touch or tilt. The touch controls are responsive and well-placed on the screen, tucked neatly out of the game play area(s). Regardless of your control-scheme preference, you’re going to need precision as the game progresses. Again, don’t let the game’s “cuteness” fool you: Its tracks are challenging and will “serve” you over and again. Fortunately, Doodle Kart’s controls are very responsive, allowing players to snake through narrow openings and rocket through track areas containing black holes.

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    As mentioned earlier, there are two primary modes of play: Single Race and Championship and four different difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard and Nightmare. Nightmare?? In Championship Mode, each difficulty has 5 stages containing 5 tracks. Players race against AI opponents and are offered the use of 7 different power-ups, such as boost and the ability to shoot a pencil at an opponent in front of you. The game is OpenFeint enabled, so players are able to track their progress/high scores, etc. online. The only features missing here are online/multiplayer and the ability to create your own track. This game is particularly well-suited for both, so let’s hope the developers add these in future updates.

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    Overall, Doodle Kart is a very solid, well-developed, quality top-down kart racer well worth $0.99. It’s clever, visual aesthetic, combined with excellent, precision game play elements/mechanics provide a complimentary game play environment that will not only immerse you, it will have you wanting more.

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    Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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