STAFF REVIEW of Doughlings: Arcade (Xbox One)

Friday, August 31, 2018.
by Kirsten Naughton

Doughlings: Arcade Box art For those who are unaware of the types of games I like to play, I am the type of gamer who loves to progress through a game. I love beating levels, completing quests and being addicted to games like Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. Nothing makes me happier than to keep progressing, beating level after level, collecting all those stars and having a relaxing day at home. When I came across Doughlings: Arcade, I was pleasantly surprised by the gameplay, the background music and the difficulty.

This game is a brick breaker, arcade type game, much like Bubble Witch Saga, but your character moves and you launch the ball at the infected doughlings to cure them of their disease. I absolutely LOVE these types of games. It is one of those "spend six hours on the couch" kind of games. The gameplay is pretty simple which I appreciated. A meteor has fallen from the heavens, causing a poisonous gas to affect the doughlings, changing all of them into different coloured beings, such as red, blue, yellow and sometimes stone ones. Doctor Morpheus tried to save his doughlings, but he was attacked by those who were poisoned, so it's up to Doctor Morpheus to save his people!

The overall story is pretty interesting, as the narrator is engaging in the very beginning talking about the plot. You connect to the server and you start at level one. You learn some pretty basic moves and the controls are quit simple. The Right Stick will be for your movement of Doctor Morpheus (left and right), 'A' is to aim and 'X' to fire.

You have a certain amount of moves that you can make in the level and there are goals to be completed, such as having to lead the ghost up to the other ghosts or having to release the fairies. After beating a level, you can get what I call “potions”, to buy ability power ups. At the beginning, I was not a fan of the controls; however, after playing a few times, it no longer seemed to be a problem. I think it had to do with being so used to playing this type of game on a phone with touch controls. I've never played this kind of a game on console, so I was very excited, and Doughlings: Arcade did not disappoint me whatsoever.

The background music in Doughlings: Arcade is surprisingly good. Have you ever played an arcade game and you hear the same song over and over again? Or the same sounds coming from the characters? It can be irritating, causing the game to become boring and plain annoying. Doughlings has such entertaining music though that I didn't feel it got boring or repetitive once, which made me very happy. The only thing that was a little irritating was dying all the time and hearing the narrator say the same two or three things each time, but that's definitely not a deal breaker. The overall look of the game was well thought out, except for one small thing that annoyed me.

As you play, you may, or may not, notice that your achievements might not pop up on the screen when you achieve them. I was playing early on and I had played for about an hour and I was dying every 2nd or 3rd time. When I knew I had hit the tenth dying point, the notification didn't pop up. Not a problem generally, I just found it odd. Now, by the time you read this, hopefully Hero Concept may have fixed this issue and will no longer be an issue. I read online that the patch was coming in a future update, sop hopefully that's happened by the time of this publication. I felt it should be noted because it's the only problem I had with the game. I checked my XBOX app on my computer and the achievements had in fact shown up on my account, so it was only an in-game notification issue.

Don't you love when you look at a game and you say to yourself “Oh, this looks really easy” and you're proven wrong? Now, it may just be because it's a thing I have with strategy games, or any game for that matter, when I die over and over again without fail. However, I found this game to not be as cute and easy as it appears. The difficulty gets harder pretty quickly, but my version of harder may be ridiculously easy for you. So, without giving it a hard or easy rating, I'll put it this way... It's as hard or easy as you play. If you quickly strategize and figure out the puzzle quickly, you'll be set to go. If not, you'll die quite a bit and from there, so you'll decide for yourself.

Naturally, as a game progresses, it will become progressively more difficult, as I was stuck on level 7 for a few hours. It was frustrating, but after what felt like twenty attempts, I finally beat the level. It's all about learning the layout of the doughlings, and of course, some trial and error. I felt that the difficulty was reasonable. I mean, if you are a person who easily gets frustrated with a game after you die 10 or 15 times, you may not enjoy this game as much, but if you are persistent and keep trying, Doughlings: Arcade is a lot of fun.

Doughlings: Arcade is well worth the asking price. The game has lots to offer, such as a good amount of achievements, the ability power ups and the overall content. There are so many levels to go through it will keep you busy for hours! There may be a couple of tweaks that are required here and there, but there's nothing I can see by playing that would make me want to put the controller down. As I said, it is very interactive and didn't have bored me at all. Hero Concept, in my opinion, did very well with Doughlings: Arcade and I'm looking forward to seeing more from them! Please excuse me, I need to get back to beating another level!

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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