Developer: Jerry Lee
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
The name this game—DoodleBoy - The Violence Park—really tells you everything you need to know. This game is really, really violent. The name also tells you that this game belongs in the ever-growing list of doodle-themed games for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Other doodle games include Doodle Army and the immensely popular Doodle Jump. Though all of these games are by different developers, they share a common aesthetic—they all look like they were hastily scribbled on a sheet of graph paper.
DoodleBoy - The Violence Park doesn’t really stick to that premise, however. Once you’re in full-blown game play, the blood-soaked look more closely resembles a gory cult flash cartoon than the innocent sketches of a bored schoolchild. The look of it even occasionally has a taste of South Park. The object of the game is to control the DoodleBoy as he shoots and stabs his way through The Violence Park, a theme park (or maybe mountain range? haunted neighborhood?) that is filled with clowns with knives, grim reapers with scythes, and zombies that for some reason also have knives.
The game deserves credit for the time and attention given to the enormous armory of weapons at the player’s disposal. While the DoodleBoy starts with only a handgun and a weird-looking cleaver, soon he’ll have access to countless machine guns, shotguns, daggers, and an assortment of powerups like “hired killers” and magical spells. That’s right: this game also has magic. Like the knife-wielding zombies, it makes absolutely no sense. Also like the zombies, lack of logic doesn’t really impede your enjoyment of the game.
Unfortunately, the game play itself is a little repetitive. The DoodleBoy is controlled by on-screen buttons that allow him to walk either left or right, fire his gun, slash with his knife, or summon magic. There’s no jumping, no ducking, and no running—just walking forward or backward at a leisurely pace. The game also liberates the player from having to aim any of the weapons. Just tapping the gun button is enough to hit whatever is in the DoodleBoy’s way. These controls conspire to make game play too simple: just hold down on the forward button, hold down on the button that fires the machine gun, and then wait for the level to be over.
There are exceptions to this, of course. Later levels, and especially “boss” levels, require a bit more timing. The game also deserves credit for allowing the player to either design a new head for the DoodleBoy, or to upload an actual photo. Personalized touches like this are always welcome. There are leaderboards, too. The music and sound design isn’t bad, either. Even with its shortcomings, many players will find the over-the-top violence and the vast selection of weapons justify the 99-cent purchase price. DoodleBoy - The Violence Park is recommended for casual gamers with a taste for cartoon violence.