Developer: DoodleBook Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store
What do you do – or rather doodle – in your spare time? If you’re craving a creative outlet that combines doodling and social media, then Doodlebook is an app that may appeal. What is social doodling you might ask? Think Draw Something but without the objective of guessing the drawing and exercising complete creative freedom instead. Doodlebook is basically a social drawing game that gives nothing more than a simple drawing prompt – a squiggly line here or a jagged line there – and then allows you to see what other players doodled with the prompt in comparison to your own drawing.
Doodlebook has a free play mode, which is just for the sake of fun and a competitive mode, which puts two pictures out into Doodlebook cyberland for a vote on the better of the two. In addition to playing with Facebook friends, selected usernames or random opponents, Doodlebook also provides access to a gallery of doodles viewable by filtering through the most popular, most recent or just your own doodles.
Doodlebook is a free app for iPhone/iPad, but is supported by banner ads. You can, of course, upgrade to the ad-free version for a nominal purchase price if you choose. Users who download Doodlebook can integrate with Facebook to play with friends, exchange usernames or simply choose a player at random. You don’t have to be Michael Angelo or Picasso to play Doodlebook – the fun is really in simply comparing the drawings, which range from very artful to very elementary (those stick people? Yeah, those are mine).
The general interface and layout of Doodlebook is good. Users are provided with a mostly unobstructed playing area and the basic tools for drawing, including three different gray-scale colors and an eraser. Through the use of in-app currency (or naturally a real currency option) players can upgrade their doodle arsenal with color packs. One nice feature, especially for talented doodlers, is the ability to zoom in on the screen for precision drawing. If you need inspiration with a prompt, tap the light bulb for a few quick flashes of completed doodles that used the same one.
Conversely, if any drawbacks could be noted regarding the Doodlebook interface, it is the inability to return to the main playing screen after comparing doodles. The only real option you have to exit the comparison screen is to continue playing. To be fair, there is no restriction on the turn-based style gameplay and you compare drawings only after both parties have completed one. You can also stop playing with a specific opponent by simply swiping left to right on the active game match.
Though the user base seems a bit small at present, Doodlebook has the potential to take off in a big way. It allows for complete creative expression and the social aspect of comparing doodles can be highly entertaining at times. Doodlebook may not have the pointed objective of most social, turn-based games, but the creative freedom is the true point. Simply let your imagination run wild and see what you (and everyone else) can doodle.