Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone


Drawn to Life (DS)

This is an interesting game that allows players to literally create their own characters, weapons and ships with their own hand. The creation system is remarkably flexible and gives players plenty of freedom to make the game their own. There are three basic parts of the game consisting of a standard role-playing system that gives you access to platforming and shooting sequences. These are surprisingly fun, and there are sequences where you can also draw in-game objects to help you along. Drawn to Life's unique approach allows you to truly create your own experience that makes excellent use of the DS' stylus in a creative and interesting way.

THQ's Drawn to Life for the Nintendo DS is an inventive and clever game where players can literally create their own characters and use them to defeat an evil force. It's up to you to save the village, as you might expect. However, the twist with this game is that it lets you not only be the hero, but create them yourself as well. This is thanks to the game's unique creation system that allows players to draw their own character who is then transposed into the game as a playable character, complete with animated limbs and body movement. Drawn to Life's design interface is fairly easy to use and allows you to use multiple colors, different brush sizes and even fill in areas. You can zoom in and out for greater detail, and there's also a grid system if you have a hard time keeping a steady hand. You have a number of colors and other items at your disposal, which gives you a great deal of freedom when it comes to creating your character. Once of the coolest aspects of the game is the fact that you can save multiple characters on the same card, which allows you to play several of your creations during the game. Drawn to Life allows you to use your creativity as much as you want but, If you aren't that great of an artist, or just want to get through the game faster, you can use template character designs, which are pretty cool as well. You also have the ability to go back and edit these characters and designs later in the game if you get bored with them or want to make small changes. You can also save and trade your characters with other players online as well, which is a cool feature. The system works surprisingly well and the characters actually look good onscreen, which adds to the game's charming look and feel.

It goes beyond that, since there are various objects that players can draw as well, such as platforms to jump on. This is a fairly easy thing to do and the artistic requirements aren't too high, allowing younger or less talented players to get along just fine. The game itself offers a decent mix of role-playing, action platforming and shooting sequences. These are all wrapped around an interesting story where a village has slowly been consumed by a dark force. In the game, it's up to you, as the 'creator' to bring the village back to life. Drawn to Life switches between a fairly standard role-playing hub that lets you select where you're going next. Most of the time, you're put into a fairly standard side-scrolling platform adventure, with some interesting twists, such as the ability to actually design and draw the platforms you'll be jumping on. This makes the game much more immersive and fun than it could have been. Drawn to Life uses its drawing modes in many creative and interesting ways that help it stand out. For example, during several sequences, Drawn to Life lets you erase some of these black blotches by rubbing your DS stylus on top of them. As the level progresses, you can see how much you've rubbed out, and can only advance to the next stage my erasing 100% of the black spots. It makes things more challenging, though the standard gameplay is fairly interesting as well. In addition to designing the main character, players can also draw the weapons he uses such as his gun and also the ship he flies in, which gives you a much greater degree of interactivity. Using your imagination and a little patience, you can definitely make some cool objects using the drawing interface.

While the gameplay might be seen as a little bit too simplistic in some ways, Drawn to Life's unique interface and creative artistic design makes it perfect for younger players, and allows them to think and use their creativity to bring themselves into the game in a more active manner than merely pressing buttons mindlessly. In that way. Drawn to Life can be considered a successful game. It's innovative drawing features make this one of the more interesting and clever DS games we've seen to date. You can spend as much or little time as you want creating your character, which is really what makes the game stand out. While the gameplay in Drawn to Life is a little bit basic in some ways, it has a good looking and light-hearted design approach. It features bright and colorful graphics along with a winning storyline that brings you into the game. Drawn to Life's unique design and approach makes it fun and accessible for gamers of all ages. The mix of action and strategy is nicely done, making for an exciting game. Drawn to Life's unique approach to gaming fits the DS' features perfectly, with excellent use of the stylus. While it's not the most elaborate game on the market, Drawn to Life is an entertaining title that features an interesting storyline that makes for an entertaining and fun title.

Grade: C+

- Michael Palisano

Related Reviews

Cooking Mama 2 (DS)
Flipper Critters (Nintendo DS)
Dig Dug Digging Strike (Nintendo DS)
Space Invaders Revolution (Nintendo DS)
Retro Atari Classics (Nintendo DS)