You may not have the dreams or, let's face it, the cash to travel all across this wondrous world, but Namco Networks America is giving you a taste of Earth's various cultures with Doodle Fit 2: Around the World. Starting your journey in the good 'ole US of A, solve puzzles by fitting Tetris-style pieces into uniquely shaped grids that look like pixelated cultural objects. As you see the sights and pass the tests, the puzzles become so foreign and complex that it will take a keen mind to master every challenge.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward: you must put all of the pieces into the grid by tapping and dragging them into place. Find the right solution at your leisure, but sometimes, there are multiple ways to complete it. The game tells you how many solutions there are when you finish a puzzle, but you only need one solution to pass. We all get lost sometimes, so If you ever mess up, you can swipe the blocks off of the grid or just shake your device and it will clear the entire board. You are given unlimited chances and even some helpful hints if your brain is churning a little too much.
Most puzzles games can be quite punishing on the mind, but Doodle Fit 2 gives you plenty of chances to have fun without halting your progress. By tapping the lightbulb button in the upper right corner, you can use one of your 20 starting hints to help you along. There are a set number of hints you can use on a level, but if you run out, the in-app purchases of extra hints will cost you some real cash instead of some in-game currency. In each new country, three puzzles are available for you to try, so if one isn't working well for you, you have two others to take a crack at. Cultural anthropology was never really that interesting, but turning the idea into a casual puzzle app is!
Analysis: Doodle Fit 2 is jam-packed with 200 puzzles for you to enjoy while adding loads of crayon drawn visuals and diverse music to match the international feel of the game. If the music wasn't international enough, some puzzles even have educational tidbits about the object you are making. Everything about this game is interactive from the spin-navigated globe to multiple game modes for all players. It may seem like the game is catered more towards a younger audience, but some of these puzzles can leave pro puzzlers stumped.
Doodle Fit 2 suffers from the same problem many touch screen games fall victim to: the fact that your hands aren't transparent. The pieces are very strict with their placements, so if you aren't absolutely precise, it might be rejected and stash itself back in your inventory. It may hurt your scores in time attack mode, but it's a minor complaint when such a small app gives you so much free content to enjoy, such as the level editor and the ability to play puzzles made by other Doodle Fit players!
Namco really has a sleeper hit with Doodle Fit 2. It has a lot of potential thanks to its community features, yet the single player game doesn't suffer as a result. It may not be the next Draw Something, but it will be a hit with anyone who needs to feed their puzzle cravings. A port to Android could be a possibility in the future, but for now, only all-powerful iOS owners will have the chance to play this insightful addicting game!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPod Touch 3rd Generation. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.