Drawn to Life - Review

Drawn to Life
Ages:

The best thing about Drawn to Life is the drawing. Otherwise it is a simple side scrolling platformer. The story begins with the Raposas, tiny creature with rabbity ears, having lost their land to an encroaching black smog generated by renegade Wilfre. Mari's call to their god for help is answered by You. If you choose not to help them, the game closes down. If you agree, you create a hero for them, and since you create by drawing, your first task is to draw the hero and the game switches to DRAW MODE.

There are four different levels, and on each one you get to draw the weapons and items you need to advance the story. Levels are differentiated mostly by color palette and environment snowy mountains, bright beach, blue underwater and forest grove. Each level will require you to clean up Shadow Goo by scratching it, fight the various dark enemies, rescue a Repo and find pieces of the "Book. of Life" that has been torn asunder. Enemies are conquered by bouncing on them three times or shooting them. Easily performed, except when you have to scratch off goop with your stylus while fighting enemies by hitting the A button could have used a little more player testing. Once a level is completed, you get to go back into town, talk with more of the towns people, run errands and draw stuff for them.

In DRAW MODE you are presented with a palette, some drawing icons and a template. The template defines the boundary. For your hero, you have block parameters for head, body, arms and legs. Zooming out will bring up a grid, and you will pixel draw and color in your character. The control pad will move your character out of the way of the palette and the palette can be closed to get it out of the way. Since this game is basically targeted for younger kids, the instructions should have been more specific than "There are many features in DRAW MODE which you can explore on your own". While the block for erase and the can for fill might be obvious, the back arrow for a single undo and redo and the lock for locking a single color is not. Help is not context sensitive and gives no more than what is already in the information booklet.

And while I am glad to see drawing incorporated in this game it is not new. Drawing your character and game items was done back in 1997 by Broderbund. Orley's Draw-A-Story asked you to draw items for the story and along the way, Orly offered opinions and encouragement on your drawings from, "You're pretty fast" and "That's a nice color" to "It's so ugly I can hardly believe it". For review see: http://www.ginghamgames.com/reviews/orly.html.

Going along with the move to tap into the good old things, Humongous and Target are bringing back four of the very best children's game characters -- Putt Putt , Freddie Fish, Pajama Sam and Spy Fox. Maybe it's retro time plumbing the good old stuff.


Fun Factor: Yes for the drawing but the levels are too long and too similar
Female Factor: Well, it's Mari who sounds the cry for help.
Player Friendly: Could have used more drawing help.

Reviewed by: Editor - 10/07

  • Drawn to Life
  • © THQ
  • Platform(s): GBDS
  • To Order: GBDS http://www.amazon.com/ $29.99