There is a slickness to the controls in Doodle Jump 2 (download from the App Store) that borders on the symbiotic. Moving your phone to bounce between platforms feels like the most natural thing in the world, as though you’ve always been waiting for a chance to fully express your phone-moving abilities and Doodle Jump 2 has finally given you it.
And then the game throws in heart-skipping tension. Not just every now and then, but constantly. Every leap is a coronary waiting to happen, every bounce a breath-held panic attack. When you land, joy ripples through you like a warm river of soup. In a good way.
All the while you’re dogged by the successes of others. Along the side of the screen you’ll see the heights other players have reached, daring you to go higher, daring you to push on and claim the upmost ranking that your sweaty-palmed leaping deserves.
Monsters too! Great beasts that scowl from their lofty perches, throwing rocks or moving around or just looking like they’re generally upset at you for having disturbed their monstrous existence. Bonk them on the head! Shoot them with your nose bullets! Avoid them entirely!
Stars are scattered throughout the random levels, and grabbing them is more than a point of bouncing pride. Collect enough and you’ll unlock the next challenge, the next set of monsters, the next list of scrawled opponents to try and overcome. Bounce! Bounce you fool!
Doodle Jump 2 captures delight and squishes it down, with finesse and care, into a small parcel that fits so well in the palm of your hand that when you put it down, for a few seconds at least, you’ll feel bereft. It is the very, very best at what it does, and what it does is bounce and make you smile.