I’ve played some awful Xbox Live Indie games in my time, but I’ve also played a few great ones. Infinite Doodle is somewhere in the middle.
Infinite Doodle is a downloadable drawing application for the Xbox 360 that claims to feature an infinite-sized canvas. It offers what you would expect from a Microsoft Paint clone, as well as some extra features that make it stand out. A particular high point is being able to draw with depth. Infinite Doodle allows you to zoom in and zoom out to draw objects at different sizes, which could allow you to draw more detail, and potentially draw intricate 3D hand-drawings if you have a knack for it.
Another high point is you are able to pick up any object that has been drawn and rotate or scale it at the press of a button. You can also add text and stamps to your drawings. There are only 40 stamps, but they’re all random enough to be a worthwhile addition to any doodle, including Santa’s face, cupcakes, a cute owl, a witch and a giraffe.
During my doodling, I found it to be oddly addictive. There doesn’t appear to be a limit of how much you can draw, and it feels relaxing to just equip the scribble tool and draw in random patterns while switching between depths simultaneously. The drawing is also very precise, with each touch of the left thumbstick moving the cursor fluidly, and the right stick moving the camera around the large canvas.
While Infinite Doodle has tried to vary itself from the likes of MS Paint with stamps and drawing depth, it is hindered by its own simplicity. The ability to scribble anything you can imagine seems rather unfulfilling without any accompanying social features to adjust their viewing options. The potential for this game would be much improved if you could share a screenshot of your drawing on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or even if you could send the drawing to a friend who owns a copy of the game so they can “explore” your creation.
When playing for the first time, I selected the polygon tool and didn’t know how to exit from creating a chain of connected polygons. After messing about with it for five minutes with no clue how to de-select, I zoomed in and back out and it exited the tool. The tutorial had told me how to select a tool, but not how to stop using the tool. However, the second time I played the game it told me I could de-select the polygon tool by double tapping A when finished. This seems like the type of command that should have been included in the controls screen but wasn’t.
Another point of contention is that while this application is simple enough to stand on its own, there is so much potential that could have turned this into a popular game that just wasn’t utilised. The game could have been implemented to allow you to select a word (or multiple words) that describe your drawing and then send them to a friend over Xbox Live to guess what the drawing is. This could have very much been the Xbox 360’s Draw Something, but even though it’s not designed to be like that, it is disappointing that it does not have such a feature.
Infinite Doodle offers exactly what it says in its name, a seemingly infinite space to doodle. While it covers the basic functionality of drawing, colouring and manipulating, it has a lack of connectivity expected from a modern video game of its type. However, if you are looking for a Microsoft Paint-style application for your Xbox 360, then this is the closest you’ll get for 80 Microsoft Points (approx. 69p).
6 “scribbles” out of 10