Doodle Invasion

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Doodle Invasion App Poster Image
Defend beach against alien attack in fast arcade game.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game consists of two basic elements: dragging a finger to create a barrier that collects invaders and steers them into the path of oncoming ships, and tapping on various things to either attack or help them. Difficulty ramps up quickly, and there's a lot to pay attention to on-screen.


Ships suck up squid-like alien invaders with a giant hose, and can attack the alien mothership with missiles. Tanks clear invaders off the beach with flamethrowers. Invader ships can zap the ship with a laserbeam and sink it. If invaders cover a certain amount of the beach, the female sunbather runs away screaming. Players can also make the lifeguard fall out of his tower by tapping him (this serves no purpose, it's just a funny animation to watch). The violence is cartoonish and there's no blood.


There is no sexual content in the game, but a sunbathing woman on the opening screen wears a bikini.


You hear "Oh s--t" every time a fishing boat hooks an invader on the line, so in levels where there are a lot of fishing boats players could end up hearing it dozens of times.


A link on the menu screen takes players to a screen where they can see more games to purchase. The game also prompts players to rate the game in the app store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A female sunbather is shown sipping a drink that looks like a margarita.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Doodle Invasion is a fast-paced arcade game in which players prevent alien invaders from landing on a beach by drawing barriers to catch them so they can be sucked up through the hoses of rescue ships. Players must also defeat the alien mothership by launching missiles at it. The violence isn't graphic, owing to the fact that the game looks like a rudimentary hand-drawn cartoon. However, frequent uses of "s--t" mean parents might want to think twice about letting younger kids play this one. Doodle Invasion HD is available for the iPad for $1.99.

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Is it any good?

DOODLE INVADERS is a fairly basic arcade game wrapped in a cute package that resembles a hand-drawn cartoon with stick-figure humans and stereotypical "giant green squid" sci-fi movie aliens. New challenges are introduced gradually to spice things up, like fishing boats that can hook aliens on their lines, or the Squidoodle invaders that can break barriers in half. The difficulty ramps up pretty quickly since there's more and more to keep track of on-screen. The controls could use some finessing, since tapping on objects sometimes (though not always) makes your barrier disappear as well. The game isn't a classic, but it's a fun time-waster all the same.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $0.99
  • Release date: November 25, 2010
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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