THQ Drawn to Life SpongeBob Squarepants Edition

Doodlebob's grey return.

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THQ Drawn to Life SpongeBob Squarepants Edition
  • THQ Drawn to Life SpongeBob Squarepants Edition
  • THQ Drawn to Life SpongeBob Squarepants Edition

Pros

  • Features Drawn to Life's unique gameplay with a Spongebob twist

Cons

  • Lacks that special surreal humour, very linear and easy

Bottom Line

Though the platforming element is considerably simple, Drawn to Life: Spongebob Squarepants Edition will make some kids (or unemployed stoners) quite happy this holiday season. Everyone else might want to opt for the original title.

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2007's DS title Drawn to Life is a standard platforming game with a non-standard twist: the player, cast as "The Creator", draws the game's hero, environments and interactive objects using the stylus. Players and critics were thrilled at the chance to create a mighty phallus warrior with which to take down evil, for in our hearts we know that the End Day is going to look a little similar.

Spongebob's crack at Drawn to Life even has the perfect premise: "Doodlebob," the cock-eyed antagonist who terrorised Bikini Bottom in an episode of the cartoon titled "Frankendoodle," has returned. That's right; the nameless artist drifting in the middle of the sea has lost his Satan-pencils once again, and Patrick the Starfish scrawled with the forbidden lead. The only solution is to draw a hero to counter Doodlebob's lust for destruction, so doodle you must.

In Drawn to Life: Spongebob Squarepants edition, you draw your hero. The game offers templates to work with, but everyone knows that the point of Drawn to Life is to make some godforsaken creation that limps like a dog with two broken legs. The core gameplay is platform-based, nothing more complicated than a Mario game. The hero must navigate platforms, swim through bogs (which brings up that mind-shattering question about why there's water in Bikini Bottom when it's all supposed to be underwater), jump on enemies or butt-stomp them. Doodlebob has made a mess of Bikini Bottom, so you'll be called on to rub out his scrawls for bonuses, not unlike cleaning up after Bowser Jr. in Super Mario Sunshine.

Along the way, you'll have to exercise your imagination to draw up objects and weapons as you need them. These might include "bubbles" (or a cool variant) that acts as floating platforms, or a totally bad-ass karate glove to smack your enemies into oblivion.

The graphics are 100 per cent Nickelodeon and Bikini Bottom (aside from whatever perversions you decide upon), but Drawn to Life: Spongebob Squarepants edition is a little lacking in wit and humor. Patrick, Squidward, Mrs. Puff and Mr. Krabs all interact with and/or help Spongebob once they've been freed, but they lack hilarity. Even Squidward seems disappointingly tolerant of his two idiotic neighbours. There's little voice acting and the boring text that substitutes for character speech scrolls slowly. The music is similarly rinky-dink and forgettable.

Drawn to Life: Spongebob Edition is also pretty easy. It's obviously meant for a younger crowd, which it caters to quite decently. Kids might not mind the lack of Spongebob's surreal wit since there's still plenty of pretty colors and slapstick. Some youngsters might get impatient with stopping the action to draw every little nick-nack in the game (which requires a lot of sheathing and unsheathing the stylus), but those with an artistic flair will have a great time.

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