Developer: Hero Concept
Publisher: Hero Concept
Platforms: Steam // Xbox One // Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Price: £6.29 // $6.99 (Nintendo eShop price)
Doughlings Arcade is a modern spin on an older idea. The brick breaker games of old are often overlooked but Doughlings Arcade is looking to change that. It’s good old bubble bursting fun with some new features thrown into the mix for good measure. I have discovered that in my time with the game I can too easily pick up and play a few levels. I occasionally have my Nintendo Switch with me at work and have found myself playing the odd game to perk up a mundane day.
Lets hit the story. So one day in the Doughlings Universe a meteorite crashed down and poisoned some of the population. One of the fortunate ones is Doctor Morpheus who is miraculously unharmed or unaffected. The Doctor has a cure to rid his fellow Doughlings of the resulting infection and he needs to come to the aid of those around him. The cure is in a ball that you aim and propel towards the other creatures that will administer the cure to them. The fun accompanying animation that sets out the story is a great little addition by the developers and well done to them because not many would bother.
As I mentioned earlier the game uses the brick breaker formula, and as you would expect, that means propelling a ball towards the objects at the top of the screen and trying to take out as many as possible. Your objective is to try to cure the Doughlings by matching the cure to the right Doughlings. The Doughlings are brightly coloured and each colour denotes the different levels of infection in each of the little creatures. Blue Doughlings can be healed quickly with one hit, green Doughlings are tougher and require two hits, yellow Doughlings three hits etc. To make the game a bit more of a challenge you have to avoid any falling Doughlings otherwise you take damage.
I enjoyed the cartoon art style used and the Doughlings have a certain charm to them. The games audio is something that I took issue with on the other hand. I found the voiceover guy annoying and I don’t think it added any value to the game. I get some people might enjoy the voiceover but sometimes I just felt like he could shush. If I could mute him telling me that “The end is nigh” towards the end of each level, then believe me I would.
With the gameplay, one fun little addition is that Doctor Morpheus can transform himself into different personas using DNA strands that you collect in the levels. Each persona comes with its own unique special move or ability. Whoever said genetic modification was a bad thing? There are seven personas to unlock throughout the game. The first persona you can morph into is the ‘Smash’ persona. Yes, you guessed it, he can smash/heal lots of Doughlings in one area regardless of their colour. One of the other abilities you acquire early on is the use of ‘colorballs’ which heal all adjacent Doughlings of the same colour with just one hit. As you progress through the levels you can level up the different abilities to make them more effective and powerful.
I have noticed that the game plays similarly whether docked or handheld, the game looks bright and the colours stand out whilst you’re playing the game. This game is fun and whilst the format is old, the introduction of new ideas and different powers make the game that little bit more interesting. I have stated in other reviews that being a slightly older gamer, I know that you don’t always have to be concerned about ultra-realistic graphics or how polished a game is. Sometimes you just want some fun. As gamers, we all want to lose ourselves in our favourite past time and a good, fun game can allow us to do that.
I love a game that I can pick up and play and thanks to the Nintendo Switch and its magical ability to literally allow me to pick up and play most games (portability factor baby!), I find I can enjoy a wider variety of games. Hero Concept who developed this game have made a nice, clean, fun game and hats off to them as to re-introduce an old formula to modern gamers is no easy feat. The game is well priced too at just over £6 in the UK eShop ($6.99 US), and with the number of levels you have to plough through (ninety levels to be exact), there is certainly enough to keep you entertained at this price point.
If ninety levels aren’t enough for you, Hero Concept has added a level editor into the game so you can get your creative skills into use and design your own. Level editors in games can sometimes be fiddly or overly complicated and to be honest I don’t really enjoy them much. Thankfully this is not the case in Doughlings as the interface is simple and easy to use. You can tap on the screen where you want to place the Doughlings and there is a range of options available to you including themes, item drops, and how many rows of Doughlings you have to contend with on the level. Once you’ve created your masterpiece you can publish your level online and let other players have a go. You can also play other peoples creations and can add them into your favourites list if you enjoyed them. There are ninety levels of the main game, but including levels created with the level editor, the number is truly unlimited. The inclusion of a level editor is great and an enjoyable bonus to the main game.
Want to see more? Take a look at the release trailer below.
All images are the property of and provided by Hero Concept.
This game was provided by Hero Concept for the purposes of this review.