doodlejump

Game House recently updated two of their Xbox Live titles, and we’ve got the scoop on what’s changed.

First up, Doodle Jump’s version 1.3 update does not bring the new themes (levels) we were promised a while back. But it does take advantage of the Windows Phone Mango update’s removal of the 30 FPS cap, bumping Doodle Jump’s frame rate up to 60FPS. That should make split-second steering a bit easier.

Looking forward, three new themes will definitely come in the next update, which should hit before the end of the year. For more information on Doodle Jump, see our review.

As for Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition, the version 1.1 Mango update brings the following changes:

  • Support for Fast App Switching
  • Fixes to localized About screen
  • Setting the Vibra option to Off now stops vibration during gameplay

Nothing groundbreaking there, but Sally’s Salon was already a very polished time management game. Even guys can have fun with it – see our review for the skinny.

Doodle Jump costs $2.99 and you can get it here on the Marketplace. Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition (which I enjoy more) is $4.99 right here.

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Doodle Jump - Review

Slowly but surely, all of the major iPhone gaming hits are finding their way to Windows Phone. It’s important that Microsoft’s young platform has the games that people like and want to play. The latest game to make the jump to Xbox Live is Doodle Jump, originally developed by Lima Sky. The Windows Phone version was ported by Mr. Goodliving (who were shut down by owner RealNetworks prior to the game’s actual release) and Game-Lion Studios. Doodle Jump has been a huge success on other platforms due to its unique, appealing art style, precise accelerometer-based controls, and easy-to-learn, hard-to-master game play.

Is Doodle Jump just as much of a standout on Windows Phone? Step, no, jump past the break to find out.

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Doodle Jump has landed on the Marketplace

The 6 Weeks of Must Have Games is in full effect. Following on the heels of Hydro Thunder Go comes this week’s Xbox Live release, Doodle Jump. It’s out now on the Marketplace.

Doodle Jump is the progenitor of the jumping game subgenre. It distills the essence of platformers – jumping onto platforms, avoiding death by falling, and defeating enemies – into a simpler game. Here players control the Doodler by tilting the phone. He’s always jumping, so you only need to worry about where you’re going to land, collecting powerups, and tapping enemies to kill them.

The Windows Phone version of Doodle Jump (like Pocket God before it) contains the main game but loses a bit of content. Namely, a few themes are missing. Each theme changes the appearances of Doodle Jumper and his enemies as well as completely changing the background. Five themes are currently included on Windows Phone: Original, Halloween, Christmas, Jungle, and Space. For those keeping track, indie clone MonsterUp (similar if not better in quality) only has three themes right now, so Doodle Jump still has the leg up there.

Doodle Jump is a monster hit on other platforms. It’s extremely cute and easy to play. The Windows Phone version costs $2.99 and there is a free, short trial. Jump on it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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Indie developer Karios Games’ MonsterUp is a jumping game, much like DoodleJump. Unlike DoodleJump, though, MonsterUp is a Windows Phone 7 exclusive. Our review praises its controls, character designs, and cheerful atmosphere. The dashing, eloquent reviewer just wished for more environments to jump through. With MonsterUp’s version 1.7 update, his pleas for variety have been answered.

Game designer Marios Karagiannis claims that version 1.7 is “the most important and feature rich” revision so far. He’s not lying!

Dynamic Mode

First off, the new update adds something no other jumping game (not even DoodleJump) has seen so far: the Dynamic game mode. Traditionally in these games, when the player character jumps off one side of the screen, it comes out the other side, much like Pac-Man or Asteroids. Dynamic Mode mixes things up by centering the camera firmly on the player’s monster. Instead of jumping off one side and coming out the other, the game’s platforms simply loop around the player. Gameplay does not fundamentally change – the same difficulty and game logic remain. Yet it does add a drop of flair that I quite enjoy. Standard and Dynamic Modes are selectable before each game, and they also share the same Leaderboard.

Fresh and tasty environments

The platform arrangements in jumping games are randomly generated, so each playthrough is different than the one before it. Still, without the visual variety of different environments, it can feel like you’re just playing the same level over and over. MonsterUp now has two brand themes (environments) to bounce around. Lemonade Madness drops the monsters into a giant lemonade glass, while Sweet-o-mania contains a colorful array of cupcakes, cookies, and lollipops. Both stages retain MonsterUp’s signature bright and gleeful aesthetic, plus they just taste great. The original theme, Countryside, is also selectable. I recommend against eating the countryside.

Hop past the break for more details on the update and a video of Dynamic Mode.

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Since we reviewed MonsterUp, the awesome DoodleJump clone for Windows Phone 7, developer Karios Games has continued honing the game, pushing out two new updates. MonsterUp was already a very slick indie title, so how has it improved?

MonsterUp v1.5.0.0 changelog:

  • View more online rankings in scoreboard screen
  • Concrete platform breaks with shield bonus
  • Minor tweak to concrete platform graphics
  • Minor tweaks to game fonts
  • View and beat online high scores in-game
  • View your all-time best and current leaderboard position in-game
  • Transition effects in loading screens
  • Reduced special power recharging time by 20%

MonsterUp v1.6.0.0 changelog (pending certification):

  • Graphics color banding bug fixed
  • Bigger in-game buttons
  • In-game buttons’ position changed
  • Small graphics tweaks
  • Minor tweaks to game fonts
  • Made in-game info more visible

Most impressive about these updates is the online high score integration. Score in MonsterUp is actually a measure of height; your high score is the greatest height you have reached. With the new online high score integration, every other MonsterUp player’s best height is clearly marked on-screen. This makes their scores far more tangible than simply viewing them from a Leaderboard. It’s easy to imagine a player trying just a bit harder when he sees the next best score just a little bit above hum on the screen… The Karios Games website has also been fully redesigned to include (among other things) the online scoreboards, further encouraging competition.

Follow the jump for exclusive information about Karios Games’ future plans for MonsterUp - and a new game announcement!

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