Doodle Jump is an infinite-distance, arcade platformer that challenges a player to help a little alien similar to the classic Q*bert character jump as high as possible on platforms suspended on a graph paper background. Platforms below the character disappear after it jumps higher. If the player allows the character to fall off a platform, they can lose the game. They must then start again from the beginning.
The player never needs to worry about wasting time clicking or tapping to make the character jump. The alien bounces automatically. The player's main responsibility is to direct it left or right to keep it on a platform and away from threats. Obstacles include other aliens and monsters and black holes. Some platforms break, disappear, explode or slide away.
Doodle Jump supplies the player with useful tools to help them keep the alien on the paper, including springs, trampolines, propeller caps and even jet packs. The alien can shoot projectiles out of it's trunk-like nose. The player can also direct it off the left or right side of the page so that it can appear on a higher platform on the opposite side.
The player completes over 100 missions and earns rewards and achievements. The latter includes achievements for jumping on multiple consecutive springs, avoiding conflict and surviving an alien abduction. The player can retry multiple times to beat their own best score or gain a top spot on a leaderboard.