A fast-finger object finding game with a touch of memorization and loads of gorgeous artwork.
Hidden Doodles is technically a hidden object game, but don't confuse it with Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake or any other story-based adventure game. This refreshing release takes a few design cues from Doodle Find, filling your screen with level after level of comic-style drawings and challenging you to find certain ones as quickly as you can. It's like Where's Waldo? on a roller coaster, which is just as exciting as it sounds!
Each round of Hidden Doodles starts with a window showing you which creature you're trying to find. There can be as many as four targets to hunt for, and your job is to memorize them, swipe the window away, and start the clock! A timer counts how long you spend in each level, and if you tap the wrong doodle you'll lose a life. Lose too many and you'll have to start the mission over. Spend too much time on a single stage and you'll get a crummy score. The overall goal is to work as fast as you can so you can earn more stars and be the best doodle hunter that ever lived!
Stages in Mission Mode alternate between a few basic types: Catch Them!, Wave Them!, and Find Doodles. Catch Them! lobs doodles in an arc across the screen, whereas Wave Them! crowds a bunch of doodles in the center and makes you push them out of the way. Find Doodles is the standard mode that fills the screen with dozens of doodles and turns you loose to find your targets as quickly as you can. There are a few variations of these themes, but that's pretty much what you can expect each time you start a new mission.
In addition to the level varieties in Mission mode, you can also cut loose with Arcade or Versus modes. Arcade sticks you in a field of doodles somewhat similar to Search Them! and drops target after target in front of your eyes. You've got to find the doodles as quickly as you can, otherwise a spiky bomb comes along and takes away one of your lives. Lose three lives and your potentially endless game of creature hunting comes to an end!
Versus mode lets you play against a friend using a single device, and it's a great alternative to getting into a thumb war with your pals. Each of you gets half of the screen along with a unique doodle to find. Then... you're off! Find doodles as quickly as you can in the fast-changing field of drawings. Whoever finds the most is the winner for each round, and the ultimate champion will get bragging rights for weeks (or years) afterwards.
Hidden Doodles is a very good looking game. The artists that got to create these crazy characters must have had a field day designing them. Drooling cyclops octopodes, deranged bunnies, malfunctioning robots, farting rockets, ticklish éclairs... You'll see a lot of hilarious sights while playing, especially in the ultra-crowded Find Doodles levels. Too bad there's no way to check out the artwork in a calm, easy fashion. We just have to appreciate it in small bursts of 15 seconds at a time!
There's very little not to like about Hidden Doodles. It's a wild, fast-paced game that successfully incorporates light memorization elements into an otherwise arcade-heavy experience. The various level types shake the main formula up a bit, just enough to ward off any feelings of stale gameplay but not so much as to introduce lame gimmicks. For a good time, definitely give Hidden Doodles a call!
- Fantastic artwork with dozens of creative characters. Simple gameplay that practically never gets old. Multiplayer mode is a nice addition.
- Best taken in short bursts, as longer sessions begin to feel a bit dry.