Doodle Devil: 3volution Review – Is it Good to be Bad?

Doodle Devil: 3volution

One of the games I played when I first got a smartphone was this simple app where you combined base elements to unlock more complex items. It was just a drag-and-drop interface with very little flourish. It even had a basic name like “chemistry” or something. Nevertheless, it was addicting, even if I ended up just trying combinations at a certain point.

Doodle Devil: 3volution is the latest game in a series that follows a similar formula, but throws in the theme of being pure evil and coming up with things like the seven deadly sins in your various combinations. Does this darker side of the Doodle God games offer an evil evolution worthy of your time, or is this title about as fun as a vacation to hell? Let’s find out.

A Fun Core Loop With Unnecessary Baggage

Right off the bat, it’s worth noting that Doodle Devil: 3volution is not an expensive game at all. While games like this originate as smartphone apps fueled by microtransactions, the exchange here is a slightly higher price in exchange for having everything in-game.

With a price of $8.99, I’m taking the cost into account as I discuss the ups and downs of the experience. That being said, Doodle Devil: 3volution offers the standard gameplay that those familiar with the series are used to, while also adding a few extra modes that we’ll discuss momentarily.

For those not familiar with the series, Doodle Devil begins with some base elements and a single category for you to work with. Using a combination of trigger inputs and button presses, you’ll pair things together like fire, water, earth, and so forth to create more complex things like steam.and lava. As you explore combinations, you’ll unlock other categories to keep everything organized.

The twist with Doodle Devil is that you’ll be unlocking things like the concept of torture, the river styx, the seven deadly sins, and yes, even sex. I raised my eyebrows when I saw the game’s icons for some of these things, but nothing is inherently offensive. An option for younger players is in the settings as well for those who may have younger gamers playing alongside them.

Things happen fast, and combinations are almost always rewarding in the opening portion of the game. Once you hit about 50 or so unlocks though, things slow down and you’ll find yourself accidentally redoing combinations without realizing it. An in-game store allows you to purchase upgrades that prevent you from seeing the same animations or giving you the abiilty to spot which items have combinations, but these need to be purchased first.

It’s not a big deal, because the game gives you 10K gold off the bat to grab these things, but at that point it would have made sense to just enable them by default. Gold is also spent on purchasing hints or outright suggestions on what to combine, which is nice when you just need a nudge to keep things going, but the game will happily take all of your gold and give you the answers, so I would have liked some more incentive not to use the hints all the time. There is a small cooldown, but it’s not quite enough.

The process of mixing, matching, and discovery alone is enough for a compelling experience, but those who have played any prior Doodle Devil games will be searching for the “3volution” mentioned in the title. A separate mode where you can fight with mythical creatures you’ve unlocked isn’t new to the series that I’m aware of, and doesn’t really connect to the main game much at all that I can see.

With automated combat, and fairly uninteresting combination mechanics to trigger attacks or healing, it’s not something I spent much time within, especially because it doesn’t have a noticeable affect on the main game. A third option in the main menu lets you spin a slot machine for the chance to win more gold by gambling your own, but the gold is not regulated enough for you to really worry about this either way.

I suppose I expected more from the “3volution” in the title. As it stands, there’s not much to differentiate this version from other ones. Fans of the series may enjoy the chance to play it on PS5 via backgrounds compatibility like I did, but even with the reasonable price point, this isn’t quite the evolution I was hoping for. Even so, the formula works on a foundational level for those who want to solve their way through all possible combinations.

Solid Presentation With a Few Downsides

Doodle Devil: 3volution

Doodle Devil: 3volution has a color art style that leans well into its themes, offering colorful portraits and plenty of suitably evil outcomes to your combinations. One odd glitch I ran into, and I’m not sure if it was my audio or the game, but the music seemed to be overly distorted and incorrect when I first booted the game up. I ended up disabling it in the settings, but the issue came back each time I played and turned the music back on.

While it could have been more of an evolution to the formula, Doodle Devil: 3volution is a fun puzzle experience that leverages it’s basic foundations well. The extra modes feel a little detached from the main experience, and I think that more integration between them could have improved the title as a whole, but for the price point here, there’s certainly fun to be had in being bad.

Final Score: 6.0/10

Article by – Bradley Ramsey
Insert date – 3/11/20

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