One of the true App Store classics, Doodle Jump [99¢], recently celebrated its 2nd birthday and surpassed the 10 million paid download mark. It single handedly brought notoriety to both the “doodle” style and the endless jumping genre on iOS, and after numerous feature updates and additional graphical skins Doodle Jump has just received its most dramatic new feature thus far. Today a brand new update added online multiplayer functionality to the game using Game Center, and this mode is so much fun I’ve fallen in love with Doodle Jump all over again.
Like the single player experience of Doodle Jump, the multiplayer is extremely simple to play. You can send out an invite to anybody in your Game Center friends list or be matched with a random opponent. Both players are then launched into a randomly generated level that features all the standard elements that you would expect from the normal game. There are enemies to shoot and the various types of platforms to jump from, but the only power-up you’ll come across are the springs that launch you higher into the air.
The goal is to race upwards against your opponent to a finish line at about the 12,000 mark, and the player to cross this first wins. Accidentally hitting an enemy or falling into the oblivion below instantly loses the game for you or your opponent. Springs can only be used once, so along with avoiding the dangers of the level you are also in a constant battle to be the first one to get to a spring. It creates a really fun competitive dynamic that compliments the tried and true Doodle Jump gameplay really well.
One thing the new Doodle Jump multiplayer really needs is some sort of statistical tracking so you can see how you shape up against the competition, but as a first effort it has really impressed me. With a pool of millions of players it’s easy to connect and find people to play with, and although there is very minimal lag occasionally it doesn’t really affect the game. If you never really got into the whole Doodle Jump thing, the new multiplayer may be just the thing to finally sway you. It really is a lot of fun. If you’re one of the millions who already owns Doodle Jump, dust off your copy and grab this latest update.