Giving your title character a name such as "Dood" doesn't do much to infuse them with personality, but then that's the point of Dood's Big Adventure. Dood is quite literally a blank slate, a character that can be drawn upon using the uDraw tablet, which is a mandatory accessory for this particular game. Once Dood's been drawn on, he can launch into a variety of mini-games. As you play through each mini-game, you earn stars which can be used to buy new skins and unlock new game maps.
Dood's Big Adventure offers up four mini-games. In Pen Panic, you guide Dood through a simple platform game, nudging him where to go, building bouncy jump platforms with the stylus and hurling ink at enemies. Roly Poly is an odd Super Monkey Ball-style game that puts Dood in a sphere, but doesn't use the uDraw stylus or pen at all, instead getting you to tilt the whole uDraw apparatus to move Dood around. In other words, it may as well not require the uDraw tablet at all.
Bubble Trouble externally has the same idea as Roly Poly — Dood is once again trapped inside a bubble — but instead of tilting, you draw where the bubble should float through the air. Hit anything and the bubble bursts, costing Dood valuable bonus time. Like the rest of the mini-games, it's not possible to die or fail the level; you just get fewer points for doing so.
The final game, Fan Frenzy, uses the same floating through the air mechanic as Bubble Trouble, but instead of drawing where you want Dood to go, you blow him with a stylus controlled fan and can hit the edges of things. It's not a bad mini-game, but against two other games with a similar bubble theme, it also doesn't stand out a whole lot.
Using the uDraw tablet rather than a Wiimote for these kinds of games gives them an odd feeling that's most closely aligned with the kinds of games you get on Apple's iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad platforms. Rather than pressing a button to jump, you swipe, just as you would in many iPod Touch games. Those are games that are designed for very short portable play and Dood's mini-games are similarly shallow.
The other part of Dood's big adventure involves Create mode, which sits in the menus above the main Play section. This involves colouring in Dood and his various enemies and backdrops or purchasing pre-painted skins to apply to them. You can also purchase "Magic Canvasses", which are fairly basic colouring in pages. This is done in the same fashion as with other uDraw titles; you've got basic colouring brushes, fill buckets and so on and so forth.
Compared to Pictionaryor even uDraw Studio, though, the tools are rather limited, especially compared to the results that you can get by buying "skins" for the enemies and animal backdrops. In order to make anything that's going to look good across three dimensions (given that some of the backdrop animals spin) is going to take a lot of time and a lot of patience — probably more than most of the kids who are Dood's core audience are going to have. Parents may also wish to note that there's no filtering of what's drawn onto the game characters; anything goes so you may wish to keep a close eye on certain children.
Along with testing from an adult perspective, we also tested Dood's Big Adventure with a group of children aged between four and eight years old. While they were initially taken with Dood, because it was a new game they'd not played before, they quickly decided that Pen Panic was too hard and not responsive enough, as was Bubble Trouble. Fan Frenzy was the favourite, but even within half an hour they were clamouring to play other Wii games, noting even at that age that the games were just simple tapping or tilting.
It shouldn't really be surprising that one of the first games for the uDraw represents one of the most over-exposed and over-exhausted genres in all of Wii gaming, namely the mini-game collection. While it's not surprising, it's equally not all that enthralling, partly because so many mini-game collections out there offer better value for money, but also because the mini-games within are on the dull and repetitive side.