Version Reviewed: 2.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini Retina
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The Doodle God series returns, but this time the Creator isn't interested in the folly of man (Doodle God) or in the potential evils he possesses (Doodle Devil). Nope, it's time to hit the restart button and create a better world; a medieval kingdom of Magic.
Bringing with it the same infectious gameplay that the series is known for, Doodle Kingdom expands on the award-winning formula of it's predecessors by adding a series of noble Quests, as well as a new Battle Mode to the mix. Alongside the standard gameplay of matching up of compatible elements by tapping on their pictures, players can engage in the story-driven Quest mode or command their own Hero as he charges headlong into goblins and other mystical foes. While the Quest mode is simply a fun extension of the main game, I gave up on the RPG-inspired Hero mode after a few plays because it simply isn't engrossing enough to detract from where the real action is.
A couple of tweaks make Doodle Kingdom more accessible and less frustrating this time around. The in-game store has a number of add-ons that reduce the chance of coming to a standstill that would previously have led to a frenzy of rapid tapping until players had exhausted every conceivable option. These add-ons are comprised of helpful frames for the elements themselves, letting players know whether each one has the potential to be compounded or not, or whether it's in its final form. It's a small tweak but it makes a massive difference. Unfortunately, each powerup only last 24 hours, which seems too short when considering their cost in precious crystals (which thankfully are often gifted as a daily award). When combined with the rechargeable hints, the game clearly isn't concerned with frustrating players - and that can only be considered a positive thing in my book.
Doodle Kingdom's presentation is as terrific as we've come to expect, with slick animations and a hypnotizing soundtrack. The creation of each new element still offers up a tweet-able philosophical quote, funny quip, or interesting factoid too. Each 'stage' also begins with a humorous excerpt about God's own impressions of his handiwork. Are the extra modes included a worthwhile addition? Not significantly, but they're entertaining enough - providing a short respite from the main game, and ultimately adding to the longevity of the whole thing. So I can't really complain.
There's no denying Doodle Kingdom's addictive quality. It's a puzzler that can't be put down easily, but tends to be picked up feverishly. It's an excellent entry for the series, and ones that fans will love.