Evercade Game of the Month 2023 #5: Doodle World Redrawn
Happy August, everyone! The year sure is flying by, isn’t it? To distract you from the sands of time slipping through your fingers, it’s time for another Game of the Month for Evercade VS and Evercade EXP players!
Game of the Month is a programme for Evercade VS and Evercade EXP owners where you can download a free game every month between April and December of 2023. You can enjoy the full version of each game without limits for a month, at which point it will be replaced with a brand new game. In February 2024, all of the Game of the Month titles from 2023 will be collected together for the Indie Heroes 3 cartridge, together with a few cartridge-exclusive games to sweeten the deal even further, and you’ll be able to add them to your Evercade library permanently!
The fifth Game of the Month title for 2023 is Doodle World Redrawn from Nate and Araceli Peters. Those of you who spent some time with the Indie Heroes Collection 1 cartridge will already be familiar with a previous incarnation of this game — but be prepared for a whole new challenge!
In Doodle World Redrawn, you once again take control of Doodle, a character based on a sketch young Araceli once did that her father Nate was rather taken with. Nate had taken to experimenting with video game development as a means of distracting himself from life’s various trials and tribulations — and hoped that the game he made, inspired by Araceli’s sketch, would not only entertain himself and his family, but also anyone else who needed a bit of joy to lift them up during difficult times.
The original Doodle World was well-received on its original release, so Nate and Araceli decided to revisit it for a revised edition. Similar to how the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels elsewhere in the world) was a much harder version of the classic platformer, so too is Doodle World Redrawn a significantly more challenging version of its predecessor!
You’ll visit familiar locales and battle enemies you’ve encountered before — but everything is much, much tougher, presenting you with a more significant challenge to battle your way through. This is a classic old-school platformer at heart, too — you have limited lives and no continues, so if you really want to master it you’ll have to show your skills, and perhaps collect enough crayons along the way to score a few extra lives.
Doodle World Redrawn’s controls are simple and will be familiar to anyone who has previously played the aforementioned portly plumber’s adventures. Doodle can move left and right with the D-pad, while B allows him to jump. Hold A, meanwhile, and he will run at a faster speed. You can even do this in mid-air if you don’t think you’re going to clear that gap you made a leap of faith over.
Doodle has a new trick up his sleeve this time around, though: he can double-jump! Simply hit the B button while he’s in the air to gain a bit of additional height — this can also be used to rescue yourself from a potentially fatal fall if you time it right.
As you explore the various worlds, you’ll encounter various things. Firstly are the aforementioned crayons: collect 100 of these to earn an extra life. Special flashing crayons do not add themselves to your collection; instead, they make Doodle invincible for a short period. Run through enemies and defeat them while the music plays, but beware — invincibility only lasts for a few seconds and won’t protect you from bottomless pits!
Some enemies can be defeated simply by jumping on their head. As a general rule, if an enemy has a “pointy bit” sticking up, don’t jump on them! Either avoid them or use the invincibility crayons to take them out.
Each level concludes with a notepad page, but you may also find a notepad page around the midpoint of the stage, too. Grab this and you’ll be taken to a bonus area where there’s a large amount of crayons for the taking — be sure to nab as many of these as you can before you hit the exit or fall out of the bonus area!
Like its predecessor, Doodle World Redrawn features 15 levels split across five different worlds, plus five boss battles. While the theming and appearance of the levels and bosses may be the same as in the original Doodle World, remember that this game is significantly harder — so don’t feel too bad if you can’t crack it on your first run through!
If you do find yourself struggling, you, of course, have a few options to make life a bit easier for yourself. First, you can make use of the Evercade save system to bookmark various points in your journey to practice them — or simply save yourself having to replay the whole game prior to a difficult bit.
Secondly, the game also comes with a built-in Kids Mode which reduces the difficulty in several ways: you get more lives, must pass fewer levels, are faced with easier enemies and easier boss encounters. Don’t feel bad if you’re a grown adult and find Kids Mode more to your taste to begin with — Doodle World Redrawn can be a tricky adventure, so there’s no shame in practicing your skills on a built-in easier difficulty setting!
And that’s Doodle World Redrawn, a platformer with plenty of retro charm about it, and a fun new take on an established classic of the 8-bit console indie development scene. Can you make it through without using save states or Kids Mode? Best of luck to you!
To get started with Doodle World Redrawn and the Game of the Month programme for 2023, connect your Evercade VS or EXP to the Internet via the Network option in Settings, then perform a system update to the latest available firmware version.
When you’re all updated, you’re ready to go — start the game through the VS or EXP logo on the left of the main Evercade menu and get ready to begin your hand-drawn adventure!
The new firmware also includes important updates for the Evercade VS and Evercade EXP, so we recommend all players apply it as soon as possible. Please see the Evercade support pages for full patch notes.
Oh, and if you figured out the riddle we teased in our recent Indie Showcase, you can also put the answer into the Secret menu to claim your prize…
Please note that saves from the Game of the Month edition of Doodle World Redrawn will not carry across to the Indie Heroes 3 cartridge when that releases in February of 2024.
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