There have been many titles in the past that mimic the core mechanics of classics such as Snake, Tetris, and so on. Doughlings is such a game whose roots can be traced back to one of my favorite titles of all time, Breakout. Those are the type of genres where you have the paddle with a ball and try to destroy all the bricks on the screen to advance to the next level. These types of games are an underrated gem in my opinion, so I relished the chance to finally write about one.
Hero Concept took this idea and mutated it to make a surprisingly enjoyable game. Our story begins in another dimension inhabited by the Doughlings. One day, a meteor falls to the sky, bringing a deadly virus that infects 99% of the population, including them turning into different colors and then eventually stone, which results in their death.
Dr. Morpheus was in his lab, working on a cure, and successfully created one. But right as it happened, his infected people attacked the lab, leaving him to single-handedly save his home, as well as himself. You wouldn’t notice it unless you are paying somewhat close attention beyond its rather family-friendly vibe, but this story, along with the game-over screen, is rather dark.
Dr.Morpheus plays the role of the paddle in this title, and the ball that is bouncing on-screen is the cure he made. The “bricks” in this scenario are his infected brethren who have to be hit at most, three times before being removed from the screen depending on the color. The core gameplay is what you would expect from a niche title such as this, the ball bounces on display, and you have to keep it from falling off.
However, this is where the developers decided to get a bit more creative. In older titles that fit this genre, it is not uncommon to obtain different paddles and balls. In Doughlings, the great doctor himself transforms into various iconic characters, which fits into the story behind the title because the Doughlings love to imitate cultures from other worlds. You have characters like Spider-man and The Hulk you can transform into, to name but a few.
Another point is the fact that there are items on the screen you can collect to help you in each level. The DNA strand transforms you, the hearts increase your score and aid you in another mechanic we’ll go over in a minute, and a thumbs up icon which you collect to use special abilities.
And last, there is the leveling system. You gain beakers depending on how many hearts you collect in the game which are then used to level not only Dr.Morpheus himself, but his personas as well. Each persona has a unique ball that can also level and helps to enhance the gameplay. All in all, this is a fun simple title that anyone can pick up and enjoy. I enjoy titles such as these and applaud the developers for their part in keeping the classics alive.
REVIEW CODE: A FREE Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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