Ever seen a dodo with a teapot on its head jump on top of a giant spider, causing it to explode in a burst of orange light? Me neither. Until last night, that is.
Dodo Master comes from the mind of Semir Saleh (and Semir only, he jokes modestly in his email), and it might just be one of the best platformers the App Store has seen to date.
Spread across 80 levels hidden behind 20 doors (four levels to a door, essentially), the aim in each of the 20 sets is to safely guide our unnamed protagonist from A to B while avoiding enemies and traps.
You’ll also find a number of dodo eggs dotted around each level. That’s actually why we’re platforming; Ms Dodo wants to get her eggs back, having been imprisoned for ages.
In terms of controls, Dodo Master invites you to move left and right with the virtual buttons in the bottom left, while the bottom right houses jump (you can double jump, incidentally) and smash, the latter used to pound enemies and smash through floors.
And that’s Dodo Master in a nutshell. Not entirely original, obviously, but it is really rather good. More words after the screenshot.
Ok, things to like about Dodo Master. For starters, there’s a central hub thingy wherein you access each of the 20 doors, and you can tackle the game in any order you like. It’s a small touch, but instantly more appealing than blasting through 80 levels in a predetermined order.
Dodo Master looks great, too, and the soundtrack is surprisingly atmospheric. Normally I would’ve expected some twee, repetitive, annoyingly catchy tune, but not so here.
As for the difficulty, you can expect to fire out a few expletives near the end, but Dodo Master is never unfair; the levels are seriously well put together, and a red glow warns of traps.
Oh, and there’s a grand total of zero in-app purchases, a boast that’s really quite appealing in this day and age. “Pay once, play forever!” screams Samir.
The only gripes I have are incredibly minor. It’s not possible to restart a section, for example; you can only go back to the beginning of the current level (remember each section has four levels).
There’s no option to continue, either, so if you want to replay a doorway (say you don’t find all the dodo eggs), you have to waste a few seconds getting started again.
Finally (slight spoiler alert), I was expecting something special upon completion of all 80 levels (at which point a new area opens up), a boss fight, or one final, fiendish level perhaps. But nope, essentially it’s “To be continued”.
But none of those negatives really served to hinder my enjoyment. Again, Dodo Master is easily one of the best platforming experiences witnessed on the App Store.
- Looks and sounds great
- Tough but fair
- No IAPs
- No replay option
- Ultimately inconclusive
- You’ll swear a lot
Summary: Dodo Master mightn’t be entirely original (jump, double jump, smash), but it shines thanks to its visuals and its stellar level design. A steal at 69p.
Developer: Semir Saleh
Price: 69p @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.