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iPhone App Review: DoodleBoy – The Violence Park

iPhone App Review: DoodleBoy – The Violence Park

February 1st, 2011 by

If you’ve ever had that childhood fantasy of going to your favorite amusement park only to see it overrun by flesh-eating zombies, finally giving you the opportunity to use the firearms training your father gave you before he left for cigarettes and never came back, then Doodleboy – The Violence Park may be the iOS game for you!

Doodleboy – The Violence Park is a side-scrolling shooter in which you must blast your way through waves of enemies, increasing your own weapons capability and skills along the way, while taking the occasional break to ride the carousel. It kind of resembles my childhood in a way that I’d care to not remember.

How It Works

The gameplay itself is pretty standard stuff: you move left and right with some on-screen buttons, fire your guns and use magic spells with some other buttons… you get the idea. After you trudge to the right for a bit you get to the end of the stage, at which point you have an opportunity to spend your money on weapon upgrades, magic spell upgrades, and you can even hire a companion killer to join you on your journey and watch your back.

You actually have three offensive buttons to work with: you can fire your chosen weapon, swing a melee weapon, or use mana to cast a spell. You switch weapons and spells by touching the corresponding button at the top of the screen, which is also where you need to keep an eye on your ammo so you don’t run out and just… stop shooting.

The game also features one killer feature: being able to add a custom head to your character.

Pros And Cons

Doodleboy is actually a really fun game, despite its being a fairly standard entry in the side-scrolling shooter genre (with one innovative feature). This genre isn’t really about innovation anyway, so much as it is about atmosphere and shooting lots of enemies within that atmosphere, and in this way Doodleboy is a pretty good game.

The graphical style is adorable (you know, for a game about shooting zombies), and juxtaposes nicely with the ample amounts of blood and gore being splattered about throughout the game. The game also has nice background art, which is something that contributes a lot to a game like this. The sound effects and music are nice, giving you a nice visceral shooting sound every time you tap the trigger. There is a nice assortment of magical power-ups, although the icons themselves could use some work since you really have no idea what each spell does by looking at its icon.

The best feature about the game is the ability to add a custom head or face to your character in the game. The use of that feature is somewhat tricky: it’s not as simple as just snapping a picture of your face, you have to actually select the area to be used in the game, and the picture you take is not necessarily fully available for you to select from. It’s hard to explain, but basically you snap a pic of your mug (or even draw a custom picture with the included editor), accept that pic, then go to a screen where you see the picture you took but not in its entirety. Some of it will be cut off, sometimes in a most inconvenient place. It’s not terrible, but it just requires a little trial and error.

My only real complaint about the game at all is the fact that there is essentially no variety. Though there is basically a new type of enemy featured in each new stage, the boss always seems to be the same: a bear, a big giant bear. The bear is satisfyingly hard and you have to pump a lot of ammo into him and hear a lot of nice relaxing shooting sounds, but it’s just a bear every time. Oh, and at the end of every level you always wind up at the carousel. It’s kind of like the amusement park has no other rides.


The game itself is just $0.99 right now, and that for me puts it into the “buy” category. It’s a fun shooting game that requires no mental power whatsoever: just walk to the right and blow stuff away, then buy bigger guns to do it better next time. The developers really need to switch some things up, at the very least come up with some new boss baddies for the end stages, but overall this game is very well done. Having the ability to add your own (or better yet, your infant child’s!) head to the avatar of the main shooter is icing on the cake. Maybe for the next version the developers can include the ability to put custom faces on the bad guys, too?

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