Dodo Master is a mobile game that doesn’t feel like a mobile game – and that’s a big compliment. It brings classic platforming to smart devices in a very accessible way – with the limitation and charm that that entails.
Modern day platforming had a phase where almost everything was in 3D – a trend that started with the original PlayStation and the GameCube. In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence of the classic 2D platform genre – with everything there ranging from an 8-bit/NES look and feel right down to the likes of Rayman’s recent ‘next gen’ outings. Dodo Masters sits comfortably in between those extremes by offerings solid no frills platforming in a very modern package – instantly becoming a rare example of a mobile platforming game that actually works.
Central to the game are the exploits of the supposedly last dodo bird, trying to get through an intricate dungeon while grabbing as many dodo eggs as possible. The dodo is one of pop culture’s most endearing bird icons, and Dodo Masters stays true to this status with a colorful and well animated main character. The cartoon-like style can also be seen in the game’s level design and in the enemies you encounter, making this a kid-friendly title despite the dungeon theme – not least of all because your dodo is one of the cutest videogame characters we’ve ever seen.
Playing platform games on a mobile platform usually comes down to one thing: the controls working or not. One could argue that touch screen interfaces are never going to be ideal for this type of game, and that’s a point which is hard to argue with. Buttons might be placed too close together, causing you to press the wrong button or two buttons at once. Or they might be too far apart, causing you to react too slowly. Dodo Masters tackles this issue by letting you position the control buttons wherever you like, allowing you to fit the game to your preferred control style. It’s not perfect, but it deals with a lot of the issues that other platform games have quite well. Still, your best bet would be to play Dodo Master using some ‘old school’ controls, for example using the Bigben GameTab-one or an external controller like Steelseries’ Stratus (XL). The only downside is that this almost makes Dodo Master too easy play, since it was designed with touch in mind and that is an interface that needs to be more forgiving in a game like this.
Dodo Master is a charming little platformer despite its all too familiar gameplay. The level design and challenges you tackle are of the basic platform variety, but this is what makes the game succeed as a mobile platform game. It’s a fun retro experience that is accessible in both its presentation and its gameplay, and with a price point of 1 dollar this is a game not to be missed if you’re a fan of classic platforming and looking to relive some of that while on the go.