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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Nintendo Swapdoodle — The Swapnote Revival!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - But... does this new form of swapping bring back what we liked about Swapnote, or is that gone forever?

In a totally unexpected move, today Nintendo revived Nikki and released Swapdoodle. This is... obviously supposed to be the return of Swapnote, which was discontinued three years ago around this time of year. It was a very unfortunate loss for 3DS communications, with KoopaTV staffer Rawk grieving in his article, “Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Swapnote.” (I'm not really sure how that makes sense as a title, come to think of it.)

Swapdoodle Nikki Nintendo 3DS hope you're excited it's good to see you again
Nintendo is not hiding that this is their attempt to bring back Swapnote.
Swapnote was discontinued due to... abuses of it. Swapdoodle makes many of these abuses impossible, and then adds in a TON of microtransactions. Is the end product something that will come close to Swapnote's glory? Either way, it's a free download that you can begin here.

Where to start? Well, as the name implies, notes are still created by handwriting. That's your only option. No typing.

As for a big difference? Let's refer to what Rawk mentioned in his Swapnote memorial article:
You could also attach pictures and sounds to your notes, allowing you to basically record elements of your day-to-day life and broadcast them to your friends. [...] However, when you give players the option to share pictures and sounds, you're giving them the option to share pictures and sounds of, well, anything. Including stereoscopic 3D penises and whatever noises they make.”
Swapdoodle does not allow you to attach sounds to your notes, and the only photos that may be attached are of in-game screenshots. Before, Swapnote actually prompted you to take a photo using the 3DS camera.

Swapdoodle Nikki be careful don't send something bad or inappropriate to your friends warning
Hopefully this warning, and the feature limitations, limits Nintendo's future liability.

You can only SpotPass your Swapdoodle notes to specific people on your friends list, rather than having a button that is a SELECT ALL. So you need to individually tap people. Swapnote let you select everyone in one tap.

Swapnote gave you six pen colours for free (red, black, green, blue, orange, and purple) and stationary you could purchase with Play Coins. Swapdoodle gives you three pen colours for free (red, black, and some glittery silver thing) and stationary that you purchase with MONEY. And to get more pen colours, you need to purchase those with MONEY. Also, you need to pay money for more storage of notes, while Swapnote had basically infinite storage.

But it's not all loss of features! There is now a Doodle Lesson feature, where you can learn how to draw. It's just... those lessons are also things you need to pay money for. There is also the ability to draw with a thick pen... which is also something you need to pay money for.

Swapdoodle Nikki Phoenix Wright and share it with your friends!
Rather than pay $6.99 for a Premium Pack,
you could pay $5.99 for the Turnabout Time Traveler DLC in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice.
(Since that's clearly Phoenix Wright on the bottom-left of the note.)

There are also “Doodle Viewers”, which are described in-game as “Select and add trusted friends as Doodle Viewers so that you can read all of their notes.” That sounds weird, but whatever. It sort of makes up for having to select recipients of your notes one-by-one.

Update 11/20/2016: You need to be a Doodle Viewer in order to be able to receive a note from someone. So if I send a note to Rawk, and Rawk hasn't checked me off, he won't be able to open the note. Once we're both Doodle Viewers, we're turned into Doodle Pals. We can still only see notes that are addressed to the respective person, not every note ever. /Update

As you create more notes, you can “Insert secret page” which are like unlockable pages of a note that can only be seen to those who reply to it! I don't know how that works, and the only person I've received anything from so far is Nikki herself. So... send me stuff, folks.

There is clearly a sad trend when going from Swapnote to Swapdoodle that can be summed up as: Less expressive features overall, and the features that exist — many of which used to be free — you need to pay for $7 or $3 at a time. Nintendo is making Swapdoodle less of a communication tool and more of an art product in the way of a stripped-down Art Academy.

But, people are innovative, so perhaps with enough ingenuity, we can get Swapdoodle to a similar level of glory as the Swapnote of old.

If you want to receive and stalk Ludwig's notes by adding him as a Doodle Viewer, you need to be his mutual 3DS friend, which mandates that you must put this friend code in: 3351-5164-3598. There are certain KoopaTV readers who have proposed trading with him in Pokémon, yet they aren't even 3DS friends with him.

Swapdoodle is quickly taking a turn towards the dark side.


  1. Swapnote had infinite storage? I'm sure I remember marking favorite notes so that they wouldn't be automatically deleted. That was just based on time or something, not storage?

    At least the lack of photos means Swapdoodle shouldn't meet Swapnote's fate.

    1. Apparently the original Swapnote, according to me opening it and selecting Delete Notes, has 3000 maximum. (I'm at 483 notes + 491 replies for 974/3000).

      I remember reading a long time ago, perhaps this Wikipedia article, that it's infinite anyway.
      "Messages sent and received can also be saved indefinitely, in spite of the 3000 message limit."

      The lack of photos also means it's a lot less useful. I remember sending out a Swapnote of me stuck on a broken down train and taking a photo of the barren wilderness outside with the letters S.O.S.

  2. Oho, I can stalk your notes / send you a Swapdoodle, Ludwig. I think I first got my 3DS right after Swapnote shut down, so I never got the chance to use Swapnote's online features.

    For drawing on the 3DS, I prefer Flipnote Studio 3D, I like that it has tools for cut/copy/paste, zooming, 3D layers, box/ellipse/line tools, and other stuff. I don't always make use of all of those features, but they're nice to have. And of course, it lets you create animations too. But it's no good for communication, because it also had its online features removed—well, they never were available outside of Japan at all, that is.

    My 3DS friend code: 2595-1511-3253

    1. I have transformed you into a doodle, Ludwig! You will be trapped inside Swapdoodle fooorrr allll eterrrrnityyyy now! Mwahahaha!

    2. ...(At least I'm rather handsome-looking in it.)

      I favourited the note, since I can't favourite the, uh, reply.

      ...So... I'm wondering, as my first official Doodle Viewer (at least the application TELLS me who registers me as a Doodle Viewer), can you see all of my notes? Even that, uh, love letter one?

    3. Nah, I've only gotten the two notes you sent to me. I think that the Doodle Viewer thing is just what allows people to see each other's notes at all.

      I found a NeoGaf post where someone tries to explain it

    4. ...Uh... So if you send a note to someone who hasn't gone out of their way to mark you as a Doodle Viewer, you're out-of-luck?

      ...I'm fine with that. So if I send something to someone, and they never get it, I need to tell them to mark me as a Doodle Viewer!

  3. I am not an artist by any means, but if you want to view my doodles, my friend code is 4055-4399-6605.

  4. 5412-9895-2268 is my FC.

    I am very rempted to buy the lessons because I genuinly want to learn to draw Nintendo characters. Makes me wish there was an Art Academy for Nintendo characters.

    If you see I got the stationary from those lessons, please don't me angry at me.


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