By: John C. Mayberry
Although not commonly followed, the puzzle genre of gaming has always had a certain charm about it that attracts a following of players who love the mental challenge. Even with a type of game that is simplistic in nature, it’s always fun to see how creative developers can get by adding new features or gameplay concepts to keep things interesting. Oftentimes this also results in a charmingly comedic experience that can be inspired by any number of concepts and ideas, as this is exactly what players will get with the Nintendo Switch version of Doodle Devil: 3volution.
Preceded by Doodle God, this game features a similar concept through the challenge of solving puzzles to progress, but with the opposite result. As opposed to Doodle God, players of Doodle Devil: 3volution are to solve puzzles using various elements, materials, concepts, and even living beings, human and otherwise, to bring about destruction. With a comedic voice over for the devil, who in hilarious detail will remind players more of a nasally voiced Saturday morning cartoon villain as he praises your so-called depravity or belittles you for multiple wrong guess in row. Either way, you’re going to get a chuckle out of it.
There are also two extra modes of play to add some replay value in the form of a slot machine game where you can leave winning additional rewards up to chance, or even and RPG-like game where you pit creatures of various lore against each other. Doodle Devil: 3volution is a shining example of how fun the puzzle game can be, albeit the puzzle genre doesn’t appear to be as widely followed by the general audience. This unfortunately makes it less likely that players will be rushing to play Doodle Devil: 3volution when compared to something that is more fast-paced and engaging. It is, however, still a fun challenge for anyone who appreciates a good opportunity to exercise their brains.
Humor – As Doodle God before it, Doodle Devil: 3volution carries a hilarious, light-hearted charm that players would usually have seen in the cartoons they watched as children. Despite the thematic elements some may be dissuaded from exposing themselves to, the humor of the struggle between good and evil is presented in a cartoonish fashion that works.
Innovative puzzles – Players will notice the tools you need to solve the puzzles draw from many thematic concepts and lore, which they are then required to combine in such a way that the player “introduces evil and sin into creation,” testing and figuring out new combinations with each puzzle solved.
Additional game modes – A good example of the fun and creativity a good developer can have in adding additional features or game modes to something as basic and more steady-paced as a puzzle game. The gameplay modes help players in the main game as well in that it provides them the chance of winning additional coins, hints or anything necessary to help them solve the oncoming puzzles.
Not for everyone – Doodle Devil: 3volution is sure to have a loyal fanbase amongst lovers of puzzle games, but unfortunately compared to the more action-packed and fast-paced games, will likely not have a big following. This game is good for all it does right, but it may not be accessible or appealing to the wider gaming audience.
Can easily bypass strategy – The strategy of the game is clear once you have figured it out, but it’s also easy to bypass it altogether, defeating the purpose and going against the spirit of the game entirely. All it would take is someone being patient enough to try out the multitudes of possible combinations until they have eventually solved them all.
Can be difficult to figure out – Unless you have had a chance to play Doodle God or are otherwise trying out this game for the first time, you’re likely going to find yourself confused at first. The puzzle solving system is not bad, but some players will find themselves referencing online sources to figure out what exactly they’re supposed to do, assuming they don’t stop trying to play altogether.
May not capture player’s attention – Despite the additional game modes, Doodle Devil: 3volution still seems a bit simplistic as these additional modes are easy to figure out and don’t require much strategy. An all-around simple game, it’s the simplicity that will make it difficult to keep the attention of the general gaming audience with its minimal replay value.
OVERALL SCORE – 6 out of 10
Doodle Devil: 3volution for the Nintendo Switch is not an entirely bad game, just not one that would stand out in the minds of most gamers. The puzzle-solving system is unique in its use of thematic concepts to solve them, as well in the humor it employs to try to make it more appealing. It still struggles unfortunately to remain memorable in that it is a far more steady-paced, less action-oriented game, and if players are dedicated enough, something that can likely be completed quickly. If someone were to play the entire game through, they would still find some entertainment value in their experience, but not one that will make them want to replay this game above another.