The aim of "Doodle Jump" is to guide your Doodler character as he jumps up the screen through a series of platforms. You can use gadgets to boost your progress, but must also deal with hazards and enemies that get in your way. According to "Doodle Jump's" developer, Lima Sky, the game is the third all-time top paid app for iPhone. The beauty of the game is its intuitive controls and addictive gameplay. Even young kids can master the controls, and the need to beat your highest score engages older kids and adults.
Tap "Doodle Jump" to open the main menu. This gives you access to game options, the store and score rankings. To change the settings, tap "Options." Unless you want to immediately connect to Facebook or turn off sound effects, you'll probably want to keep the default settings, at least to start with. Tap "Menu" to go back. Before you start a game, look at the bottom of the screen for the cartoon strip -- swipe this to the side to choose which world theme you want to use.
You have two play options in "Doodle Jump." From the main menu, tap "Play" to start a one-player game. You start from the beginning in each game -- "Doodle Jump" doesn't have levels and just keeps going until you lose -- and your aim is to beat your highest score. If you want to play against someone else, tap and hold down "Multiplayer." In multiplayer mode, your aim is to beat your opponent to the top. Multiplayer is not available in all versions of "Doodle Jump," so if you do not see this option this mode is not available on your system.
Controlling Your Doodler
Your Doodler automatically jumps from platform to platform to go higher -- you control whether he jumps right or left. Most platforms do not move; some move from side to side or up and down. They are not evenly spaced so you must move the Doodler by tilting your device to the left or right as he jumps. If you miss a platform and there isn't one below to land on, you'll go into freefall and end the game. If you tilt your device far enough to one side, the Doodler will leave the screen and return on the other side -- this is a useful move if you don't have many platform options or need to bypass an obstacle or enemy.
Using Gadgets to Get Higher
You don't have any control over the Doodler's speed -- it remains constant unless you land on a platform that has a booster gadget on it. Some of these gadgets, such as springs and trampolines, make your next jump a lot higher. You get a free ride up through platforms if you land on gadgets like propeller caps or rocket packs. These give you a fast boost for a short period -- listen for them to start to run out so you can be ready to move to a platform when they're exhausted.
Dealing with Platforms and Enemies
Watch out for cracked platforms that break when you land on them. In some themes you'll also come across other dangerous platforms, such as yellow ones that explode when they turn red. If you hit an enemy character, it's game over. Although you can initially go around enemies, this gets harder as the game goes on. You can jump on them from above to kill them, or you can shoot them. To shoot, tap the screen in the direction in which you want to aim. If you find this tricky to master, tap under your Doodler when you hear the enemy noise -- this shoots straight up and should deal with any enemies that are in your way. If you prefer, you can turn off directional shooting in the "Options" menu so your Doodler only ever aims up.
Carol Finch has been writing technology, careers, business and finance articles since 2000, tapping into her experience in sales, marketing and technology consulting. She has a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages, a Chartered Institute of Marketing.certificate and unofficial tech and gaming geek status with her long-suffering friends and family.