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Review – Your Doodles are Bugged! (PC)

Blitz 1UP | 04.05.2011

This is one of those games I’ve been meaning to look into since it was released.  That is, it showed up one day on Steam’s New Release list, it seemed kind of interesting, so I stuck it on my wish list.  Then I never got around to actually getting it or trying it or picking it up.  It’s an interesting little title that comes off as sort of a combination of something like Crayon Physics and Lemmings.

On it’s surface, it IS a combination of Crayon Physics and Lemmings.  You have to draw lines on the map between some existing doodles to help a batch of little hopping bugs get to the large honey pot.  Unlike Crayon Physics, your drawings are stationary once placed.  Unlike Lemmings, your bugs do not have other special functions.  They do jump rather randomly and blindly around the world.  There are some obstacles to this endeavor in that your pen only has a limited supply of ink.  Also the bugs are pretty erratic and can be unpredictable at times.  Also as the game progresses there are special surfaces and objects that show up such as killing floors and portals which will teleport bugs to other areas.

The basic premise is pretty much exactly as it sounds though.  The gameplay itself is a pretty neat concept and it’s fairly fun to play…  Initially.

Your Doodles are Bugged is not without it’s flaws, which can stack up to make the game a little frustrating.  Where to start.  How about the basic mechanics, which can be a little, buggy, pun intended.  Sometimes I’ve found that when bugs get stacked up on a corner or tight area they can actually manage to wiggle through the line you’ve made.  This can be frustrating when you’re doing well at saving all of the bugs and not just the required number, but it’s even more frustrating when you’re short on ink and have to rebuild some elaborate scaffolding in order to lead the single bug back up to it’s friends.

A similar problem comes up with the erratic nature of the bugs’ behavior.  49 out of fifty bugs may hop right on across a little set of ramps but that one left over one, for whatever reason, will hit something and turn around, often causing the need to panic and stop it from leaping off a cliff.  Meanwhile you’re trying to keep a handle on the other 49 bugs.  There is also a timed aspect to each stage, which only functions for the leaderboards, so it’s not super critical, but often you’ll end up watching a pit of bugs hop around randomly while frustratingly begging them to “JUST CLIMB UP THE RAMP ALREADY DANG IT”.  Meanwhile, your level time is sky rocketing.

Possibly the biggest frustration is the tediousness of it all.  A lot of this comes from the limited ink supply.  It becomes apparent fairly early that the primary way to tackle a lot of the levels easily is to paint a line, which is thick by default, then slowly reabsorb bits of the line so it’s a thin line allowing you to more or less double to triple the amount of lines you can make.  This is an extremely slow process.  I realize the limited ink supply is basically meant to create more challenge but it might have been better as an optional method of play for people who want a tedious challenge.

I know I feel like I’m kind of dumping on this game but it really can’t be helped.  I DO very much like the concept, I just really feel like the execution could use a little more polish.  I’d recommend waiting for a sale, or a bundle, but if the concept seems interesting you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of this title, just be prepared to get frustrated and possibly bored of it halfway through.

Your Doodles are Bugged on Steam.

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