Welcome to my review of Escape Doodland! Indie game developer appSide Down describe the game as “an arcade platformer with intense and demanding gameplay.” And it certainly is those things…but so much more. Its smooth, fast-paced gameplay, hilarious sounds, and truly unique hand-drawn art style set it apart from similar games. It’s as if those random little doodles you made in school (Or work. Church?…no?) have their own little world. Tragically, that world is being brought to ruin…unless you can escape it!
Escape Doodland follows the adventures of various “Doodlers” – the residents of Doodland – as they run for their lives from Omnomus. Omnomus is a very big, very hungry monster who enjoys the finer things in life, such as the delicious flesh of Doodlers. You will start out as a brave, purple, hairy ball-looking Doodler known as Steve. If after a few games you’d like to switch up your Doodler hero, you can purchase them in the Shop using the coins and stars that you’ve accumulated throughout your adventures.
The current state of the game only allows for single player, but multiplayer should be available at launch. Now when I first jumped into the game I didn’t look at any of the controls or settings, so I thought you literally just pressed Spacebar the whole time. While this will be the main thing you’ll be spamming, (as your Doodler will never stop running) you do have little boosts that can save you in times of need. Here is where your inner child will really start enjoying themselves. The boosts that you’re equipped with are:
- Jump – Space
- Fart Jump – W
- Fart Dash – D
- Slow Enemy – E
You will also need to jump fireballs, avoid lightning, swim for you life, and many more survival techniques, all while avoiding the hungry, sharp jaws of Omnomus. While they did a good job of making the monster and other obstacles that need to be avoided stand out with bright colors contrasting a mostly-grey background, some of the platforms you’ll need to jump on tend to blend into it. This can result in some unexpected deaths until you get the hang of where everything is.
There’s just something intrinsically hilarious about stunning a massive monster with excessive flatulence. Or escaping with a well-timed fart dash. Will it appeal to members of the British monarchy? Probably not. BUT IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU.
The sounds in Escape Doodland really bring the whole game together. You’ve got the crazy art style, the weirdly cute characters, the hilarious sound effects. These are all mixed together beautifully with the soundtrack in the background. It’s clear that the devs put some thought into this.
Is This Game For You?
So it all boils down to this question. Should you try out Escape Doodland? I’m not going to lie, I am not good at platformers (which will be proven in the video below, as I’m sure many of you find this hard to believe), and they’re not typically my cup of tea. However, with the implementation of checkpoints, there’s a more significant feel of progression and accomplishment along the way, which prevents burnout. You will still need to be on your best game though, as each checkpoint will only last three turns before kicking you back to the very start of the level. Keep in mind that this is on the easier of the two difficulty settings (Hard and Harder…which is saying something in itself). So if you want to restart from the beginning after each death you can choose the Harder option.
From what I can gather no price has been confirmed for the game, but if it sounds like something you’d be interested in you can add it to your Steam wishlist now, or follow the game’s development on social media.
Escape Doodland is set to release on PC and mobile in Q1 of 2018.