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Doodle God: Crime City review for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: Xbox One
Publisher: Joybits
Developer: Joybits
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

If you went into Doodle God: Crime City knowing nothing about the game other than what it says on its Switch store page, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was some crazy, exciting game about cops and robbers. 500+ puzzles to solve! Multiple storylines! Multiple game modes! I don’t know about you, but I’m down for all those things.

Pity, then, that it’s all just a very fancy way of describing just another Doodle God game, where the formula is basically the same as it has been for the better part of the last seven years: you have have pictures of a bunch of items, you combine the pictures, and, if you’re attuned to the game’s internal logic, you unlock more items. Repeat that a bunch of times, and you have a game — in this case, repeat that 500+ times, and you have Doodle God: Crime City.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, of course. I’ve even enjoyed the odd Doodle God game myself. And, to be fair, this game probably takes the mixing and matching further than any of its predecessors, so there’s certainly more Doodle God here than ever before.

But that doesn’t mean it’s significantly better. Or even kind of better. A consequence of there being so many items to combine is that they’re awfully tiny all squeezed together on the screen. There are nearly 300 “elements” to find in total, and even with those elements separated into 30 different groups, you’ll be spending a lot of time poking around the different sections, trying to remember how the game classified certain things.

You’ll also be spending a lot of time trying to figure out Doodle God’s odd internal logic. Some of it is certainly straightforward enough. You add crime to crime, and you get the Mafia. Add two buildings together, and you get a street. A weapon and a building lead to a gun shop. Most of them make some degree of sense.

But then you get into areas where the game just seems to throw together two random things: sawdust and water create hummus, for example, while a piece of skin and a metal bar create a whip. There’s a certain degree of randomness here, which means that you’ll either be spending a lot of time discovering combos via trial and error, or you’ll have to resort to a guide.

In other words, it’s basically just like every other Doodle God game, only with more things to combine than ever before. If that’s your thing, you’ll be happy with what’s here, but if it’s not, be aware you’ll get very, very bored, and fast.

Joybits provided us with a Doodle God: Crime City Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C