THQ Drawn to Life
- Drawn creations are brilliant, weird and unusual cameos, soundtrack
- The controls can be a little iffy at times, the canvas is too small and prevents creativity
Drawn to Life is probably a must-have for every DS owner's library. It's super adorable all around and it has tons of replay value. Who your character is and the shape of his environment is literally up to you, so play it as a goth chick, a monkey, an anthropomorphic banana--whatever fits your inner style.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Well then, let's get your hero Drawn to Life and save that Raposa village! Rapo? Yes, the adorable little rabbit people down there! They need you, the Creator, to save their village from evil Wilfre and the encroaching darkness by filling the Book of Life with awesome drawings.
Be who you were meant to be
Drawn features a character creation scheme that is pure brilliance. You get up to three emissaries and they can be anything you like: a giant robot, a werewolf, a dude with blue skin. You use these hand-drawn emissaries to collect pages of the Book from worlds connected to the village via big gates. Once the fragments of a page are assembled, you can usually clear some of the darkness that is clouding the world by tapping the eternal torch. It may sound trivial, but it's quite satisfying.
The platforming stages are reminiscent of SNES games like Super Mario World and Aladdin, with plenty of moving platforms, bouncy launch pads, and bonus coin areas. The major difference, of course, is that most of those environmental elements are either drawn completely from scratch or coloured in by the player. The instructions might say to draw a boulder, but no one will stop you from making a pizza or a big smiley face instead. Some players may also be reminded of Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse, since your hero has a couple different tool sets to use depending on which world you're in.
Besides the pages of the Book of Life, you should also be on the look out for trapped Rapo villagers, secret items (which unlock extras and special moves at the store, most of which are unnecessary--more fun to toss coins in the wishing well), and dark goo to scrub off with your stylus. The villagers, once you bring them back, create tons of drama. Some pretty weird characters emerge from the darkness--a thief, a rapper, and others make unexpected cameos. Needless to say, playing this game through to the very end is definitely in order.
The soundtrack is great, if not always stand-out memorable. Graphics-wise, the game is really cute, although it'd be nice if you got a little more precision with your art. Sometimes the canvas is too small to do too much with. That said, if you zoom in all the way, you can paint pixel by pixel and get some decent results. When it told me to draw a house to bounce on, I managed to cram little distressed people inside, so maybe I just expect too much. Controls are fine for the most part; as with any platformer, it has its little quirks and some floaty moments, but nothing major.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
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