Dude, your lemmings are bugs!

Review of Your Doodles Are Bugged! on XBLIG: Try
For those that thought that only lemmings could satisfy your need to save mindless creatures.

Let me start off by saying that I’m giving this game a Try. This is a solid game that has seriously addictive qualities to someone like me who enjoys the Lemmings© series and is admittedly slightly artistic. Your Doodles are Bugged can be found in the Other category of Indie Games (even though I think it should be in Puzzles…) for 80MSP.

There is a cute story about some bugs, that look like little red or blue ladybugs, that have managed to escape their glass jar when the Doodle Master’s apprentice caused an explosion in the workstation. The Doodle Master’s paintings were due to be delivered to a patron or curator (I’m not sure which) when the apprentice noticed that the bugs had managed to infest the insides of the pictures. Rather than trying to magically exterminate them, you control Doodleus’s magical pen that draws paths that the doodle bugs walk on if the paths aren’t too steep in effort to lead them to magical pots of honey. Most of the levels have little quirks that can potentially change up the gameplay enough to draw you through the game, so read the little intros to each of them.

Drawing using the analog stick rather than some sort of actual pen is tricky at best. This is actually the best application of such usage that I’ve ever tried. It’s less finicky on how the stylus responds and the center of the drawing/erasing point is clearly defined. Also, the name of the game on the pen is a cute graphical touch.

On to my reasons why this game just isn’t a Buy.

The doodle bugs are so dumb sometimes that it makes any real or gaming lemming look like someone that double majored in brain surgery and rocket science. I got frustrated with that one bug that refused to go up the carefully constructed path like all the others. The only thing that mitigated that was the fast forward.

The backgrounds to the levels are almost all white. This is supposed to be the blank portions of canvas but the contrast is a killer on the eyes. I ended up moving closer to my 42” HDTV so that I could see better what I was doing without having to strain my eyes as much.

There are too many doodlebugs at some point. Save 50 of 150 bugs? OK. Save 250 of 275 bugs? Maybe once but not more than that. Save 1001 bugs? Someone must die from a stab in the face. That is not fun. That is tedium. If I can save 50 of the blasted things I can save all of them when it’s a level without a death trap. I clocked in approximately 2:45:00 worth of in game time, the timer speeds up in accord with the fast forward button, just to beat the final level of the game. There are so many bugs going into the honeypot on some levels that it kills the graphics processor! That both gave me satisfaction from being able to overload the XBOX and angered me that I’m required to save so many of the doodle bugs that it’s even possible to do so.

Finishing any level allows you to replay up to that level in effort to get a faster time. Finishing the game unlocks a free play level that sounds good from the description but is only a blank sheet of paper with a metric crap ton of doodle bugs and unlimited ink in your pen. It isn’t an abbreviated level editor (which is what I’d been hoping for).

Despite my griping, I did enjoy the game. I was enthralled enough with it that I felt compelled to complete it even though that meant I had to come back to it several times because of eye strain. Try it. You’ll definitely see if you have the patience for this game by the end of the trial period because that’s more than enough time to get past the introductory levels and into the first of the trickier levels.

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