XBLIG Review: Infinite Doodle – the blank canvas is your universe

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Infinite Doodle by Smudged Cat Games is an art creation program. The concept is amazingly simple, yet, with the right creative spark, can become a canvas for a burgeoning artistic mind.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzPGxfPt9qk

Infinite Doodle starts you off with a blank canvas that can continually be zoomed in and out, essentially creating a canvas of infinite proportions. You can create images with as fine a detail as you would like and are afforded the opportunity to make some funky drawings. The joysticks are used to move the cursor and move about the canvas, while the triggers are used to zoom in and out. Doodle has some of the standard art tools, like undo/ redo that are very handy to have.

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However, this is not really a game or a true art creation kit, but more of a toy, something fun to pass the time, akin to the old Kid Pix software. Once you figure that fact out, Infinite Doodle can be extraordinarily entertaining and fun. The ability to zoom in and out makes a really neat effect and can create some pretty cool images.

Infinite Doodle allows for free drawing, which is kind of clunky with the Xbox controls, and includes the option to use stamps of Smudged Cat Characters, shapes and text. And if you were curious, the Udraw tablet does not work with the game; I tried and you cannot move the cursor, so you really cannot do much. Smudged Cat did release a free PC version, if a mouse is preferred to the Xbox controller.

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The game does have some problems with depth. If you draw something and zoom out, the game does not recognize anything underneath the larger object. To be honest, I do not know why I would expect it to do that; this is not Photoshop and there are no layers.

As silly as it sounds, it is very easy to get lost in the canvas. If you don’t pay much attention to what you are doing, you may accidentally zoom in/out too far and have to find your way back, a task that can become very taxing after a while.

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A fortunate aspect is Infinite Doodle does allow for saved pictures as well as multiple save files. However, once you exit a drawing, once you re-enter you do not start where you left off, but rather the original point where the game started. So, you better remember what you were doing last time, and how to get back there.

Infinite Doodle’s background music is kind of soothing, and easily floats into the background, as it should. One can easily pass the hours by, if he is focused on a particular project or picture. The inability to select and copy images created is kind of a pain, especially if you are trying to makes something that has a lot of similar parts. However, that fact is easy to overlook and appreciate the title’s options. Oh. And did I mention when zooming out, the game almost has a 3D-like effect.

    My doodle that took many hours to make and even more to turn into a gif.

My doodle that took many hours to make and even more to turn into a gif.

The simplistic nature and design of Infinite Doodle are big factors in the title’s ease to use. While the controls are not as fluid as one would hope, that point is far from making the game bad or unplayable. The controls never truly become fluid, but after a while are manageable Ultimately, the experience of creating your own masterpiece, or lack thereof, make up for any shortcomings the controls may have and present a worthwhile title for those hours in the day where you need something mindless to do.

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About Steve Lesniewski

Steve lives in Chicago and recently graduated from the University of Illinois. He has been fascinated with video games since his ninth birthday when he received a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Blue. He loves following sports and cheers win or lose for the Bears, Bulls and the Fighting Illini, who include the 2012 men’s gymnastic national champs as well as the 2011 women’s volleyball national runner-up.