Doodle God Planet Windows Phone
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Doodle God goes free to play with Doodle Planet on Windows Phone

A long time ago in a galaxy very close to home, man created the game Doodle God. On Windows Phone, it was an Xbox-enabled game built around the concept of alchemy. Doodle God never got the bug-fixing update it deserved, but it did spawn a number of non-Xbox sequels such as Doodle Devil and Doodle Creatures. They were all very similar to one another.

Last week, developer JoyBits released a brand new Doodle God game that is also very similar to the others: Doodle Planet (also known as Doodle God: Planet). While Doodle Planet won't surprise anyone with drastic changes from previous games, it does have one big difference: it's free to play. If previous Doodle God games were too rich for your blood, maybe this version will make you a believer.

Making something from nothing

Doodle God games have always revolved around mixing random elements in order to create new elements. Doodle Planet uses the same familiar mechanics and interface. Simply tap on an elemental group to expand it and see the sub-elements it contains. Figuring out which elements can be combined is largely a matter of trial and error.

At any given moment, you can have up to two groups open on-screen. Either drag one element to another or simply tap the first element and then the second, and they'll mix. Some things simply don't mix and you'll get an error sound. But assuming they combine successfully, one or more new elements appear on-screen and are added to your pool of resources. The game also displays a clever allusion or joke, lending some welcome personality to the endless process of trial and error.

Doodle God Planet Windows Phone

Build your world, but mind your energy

Doodle Planet introduces a new goal to the main game: building your own planet. The planet starts out raw and mostly barren. As you discover certain elements such as volcanoes and steam, those items will appear on your Doodle world. You can even pinch and rotate the world to get a better look at it. Filling out the planet doesn't change things up too much, but the extra goal to shoot for is still welcome.

Less welcome is a new energy mechanic. Each time the player successfully creates a new element, it uses a little divine glow. Oddly, you can't see how much divine glow you have except while creating the element. Run out and you'll have to wait for it to recharge… But you can't see how much you have until you try to combine some elements. Hey JoyBits, how about a intuitive user interface?

Divine Glow can also be bought via in-app purchase. Other IAPs include various hints and boosts. If you want to do away with the energy mechanic and basically turn Doodle Planet into a normal Doodle God game, you can buy Eternal Energy. It only costs about $20. What a steal, right?

Doodle God Planet Windows Phone

Extra modes

In addition to the lengthy main game, Doodle Planet also offers a couple of extra game modes: Quests and Puzzles. Quests work like the main game, but have their own cute little story premises and a smaller pool of elements to mix. They don't appear to cost energy, so players might be able to keep busy with quests whenever they run short of energy in the main game.

It's always interesting (and often disheartening) to see an established game series switch to the free to play payment model. Doodle Planet makes the transition decently well, offering just as much content as paid games have in the past. But hiding the player's energy away is awfully obtuse, if not downright sneaky. Doodle Planet also disguises links to other Doodle God games as normal menu items, such as making Doodle Devil look like one of the puzzles in Puzzle mode. Again, kind of sneaky.

I'm less annoyed by the energy mechanic than I am that JoyBits keeps releasing nearly identical Doodle God games as sequels. Does anyone love Doodle God so much that they want to play the same game over and over again? At least this one can serve as the Doodle God game for people who wouldn't buy the paid games, I suppose.

  • Doodle Planet – Windows Phone 8 – 120 MB – Free – Store Link

QR: Doodle Planet

512 MB supported

Via: @WPScoops

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Reader comments

Doodle God goes free to play with Doodle Planet on Windows Phone

44 Comments

I really liked Doodle God. And I finished all the Achievements. I tried Doodle Devil but without the Xbox-Live achievements, once I got bored of it, nothing compelled me to return to the game. So, honestly, even though I could try this one, I think it will go down the route of the others. So I won't even bother. I'll have plenty of time to play non-Xbox games on Android. While I'm still on WP, I rather waste my time on Xbox games.

You're the one who originally replied to his well laid out opinion with your useless, judgmental one and continue to post worthless replies. #SaveXboxWP or go home.

Great minds think alike. I've been petitioning Microsoft to extend the ID@Xbox program to WP and Windows 8 since November 2013, details here. In fact, Chris Charla, the director of ID@Xbox even favorited one of my #SaveXboxWP tweets asking for the program to be extended to WP and Windows 8.

Why is nothing supporting XBL achievements any more?
MS needs to overhaul that system, almost all games on Android support GPG and GC on iOS
C'mon MS

Even on the Kindle Fire Amazon has their own system that most games support. I really hope with threshold they are going to redo the whole Xbox experience on mobile.

Too expensive for the certification, no return on investment. Just look at all the people that whine when a game is 1.99 or 2.99. A lot of people even demand the games "should be free". If I was a dev there's no way I'd waste 40 grand and a lot of man-hours just for some achievement hunters

That's the cost of going through the Xbox Live certification process that Double Fine once reported. The cost was probably lower on Windows Phone, but still proved to be prohibitively expensive for many developers.

Exactly. At the time it was ~$40k for EACH update too... so quite often games wouldn't be patched as it was too expensive. I know they've changed that now, and relaxed a lot of the rules about requiring a publisher... but it's still prohibitively expensive. I'd like to get some real figures for WP currently, somehow...

Problem is nobody is making Xbox WP games any more, other than a few devs who are first-party (Press Play) or contract with Microsoft (Zoo Tycoon devs), and Ubisoft, who won't discuss behind the scenes stuff. So I don't think we'll ever know the figures involves.

I tried a couple of their free to play games and they were uninstall within minutes. I much prefer a paid game with no hidden features or cost, Doodle God was great but I won't be playing their other games.

Anyone find it odd that Joybits Ltd is listed twice in the store? There is "JoyBits Ltd." And "JoyBits Ltd". Furthermore, isn't it odd that Doodle Devil from the former is only 10mb and has been recommended in the Games Hub (I recognized both the interface and the icon, as I first downloaded the trial due to its games hub mention), while Doodle Devil from the latter is larger, includes a different UI with other modes of play, and sets an alarm in your phone to play it? I'm not saying they're imposters, but I am suspicious of them, because not only does one of the games from the latter look different and is of a larger size, but compare the icon with the former's and the latter's will look like a cheap knockoff.

I have supported the Doodle games since the beginning and found them a wonderful time waster that make you think outside the box for many of their puzzles.  However, with the release of their last game (I think it was Doodle Creatures) they started playing around with the Pay to Win model.  The energy feature was there and annoying but not nearly as intrusive as the current version in Doodle Planet.  I think at this point I am done playing the Doodle series.  20 for unlimited energy is ridiculous when you consider that it is more than the original purchase price of the previous games combined.

 

The Doodle games were great fun, but I really have no interest in paying to win a game or waiting months to complete a game I usually complete in a few days. 

 

Good Bye JoyBits, you were a fun innovative company.