The Nintendo Wii is the basically the first console that truly allows you to get interactive with your gaming. The Wii really let’s you get into the games and get involved with what’s going on in many ways. The Wii though has many, many titles that are aimed at children, it is, after all, a family type console so that’s to be expected. The problem with children’s games is the reviews you’ll find of them, they don’t take into account who the game is aimed at, they look at it from a gamer stand point, and usually they’re older gamers who are doing the reviews. I’m an avid gamer with three young children, I love my Xbox, but I like my Wii and PC as well for gaming, but I understand that games for children cannot be reviewed the same way as an adult game can. The game I have for review today is Drawn To Life The Next Chapter, it’s a kids game, there’s no doubt about it, but looking around you’ll see it got a relatively low scores, about an average of a 6 out of 10, and I don’t understand that as it’s a pretty good kids game. Then I looked around and started reading these reviews, there’s no children involved in the reviews, only the reviewers themselves and their professional opinions, and I feel that’s a big flaw in their reviewing process. How can you review a children’s game without actually having a child play it? How can you formulate an opinion and score of a game without actually including the target audience in the process of reviewing it? With kids games I play them myself to get my own opinions of them and then I let my kids have them and I watch and observe and even ask them questions about the game, what they think of it, was it too hard etc and then I can give you an honest and thorough review of the game and let you know if it’s worth your money or not.
So today we have Drawn To Life The Next Chapter from THQ and I have to say that I never played the first Drawn To Life game so there’s not going to be any comparisons made in regards to the first game, but I can tell you that I had a lot of fun playing this game and so did my kids. It’s a game that I think a lot of people will like, especially children, Drawn To Life is a game that truly allows you to get involved with the game and actually create the gaming world. The interface does take quite a bit to get accustomed to, drawing with the Wii remote can be hard, but in the end it’s a lot of fun.
So, here’s some box shots for you, THQ not only sent me the game but also a special edition box of branded Crayola Drawn To Life The Next Chapter sidewalk chalk which my children very much appreciated.
Experience an all-new Drawn to Life adventure in the first Wii game that lets you draw your own hero! Play as your hero and use the Wii Remote to draw customizable weapons and tools designed to help you stop an evil thief before it’s too late!
* Customize your hero and game universe: Draw your own hero and create over 100 unique items though out the game such as a jet pack, a sword and wings.
* Create without limits: Explore your artistic freedom with robust drawing tools that provide you with many templates, colors, brush types, guides and stamps. You can quickly draw a simple figure or create a masterpiece.
* Action drawing: Draw objects directly into the game-play to help you advance through the levels. Special ink powers mean drawing with certain colors gives your creations unique properties.
* Extensive action adventure game-play: Journey through 4 unique worlds, each with a different style of play including skating and flying.
* Play with Friends: Draw your team’s players, equipment and more as you compete against friends and family in multi-player mini games including Soccer, Hockey & Basketball.
Drawn To Life The Next Chapter is a game where you get to drawn parts of the game. When you first start out you’ll drawn your character, the planet and the moon. You can of course use pre-made versions as well if you’re drawing isn’t up to par, but that’s the fun part of the game, to draw your won stuff, even if they’re goofy looking. When drawing you’ve got a pre-sized canvas to work with, your art should fill the area to work with the game. There are points where if you don’t fill it in you’ll end up with invisible spaces and you character will walk across those invisible spaces like he’s floating. Yes it is hard to draw with the Wii remote, it takes very steady hand to get anything that looks half decent, but part of this game’s charm is the fun and goofy things that you end up drawing that become part of the game.
The game is meant to be bright and colorful and cute, it is something that is aimed at children, so colors and the cuteness factor play a big part.
Drawn to Life is a side scrolling plat former at it’s heart, and that’s not a bad thing, especially where children are concerned, this way they know which way to go basically. As you’re playing you’ll find dotted line boxes where you can draw things in, essentially you’ll need to create your own path from point A to point B with just a line, or several lines that allow you to get higher up in the level or collect things like coins or bonus items..
At many points in the game an easel will be there indicating a place where you’ll need to draw something, it could be a piece of the background like a flying butterfly, or maybe a platform like a log that you’ll use to get across the water, or it could be a trampoline so you can jump and bounce higher up to reach the next section.
The idea behind the game is that you’re the hero and you need to stop the villain from stealing things in your little town, it’s a basic idea that does sound kind of boring but it’s the getting there that is the fun part.
Here’s a couple game play videos for you, they’re a couple minutes each.
This one here start out with drawing something actually, drawing logs to help you get across the waterfall actually.
This video shows basic gameplay and drawing several platforms to help get through an area:
So I have three boys ages 4, 7 and 8. Obviously the older ones can play the game fine, but my youngest really likes Drawn To Life The Next Chapter even though he can’t play it himself really, he asks me to play so he can watch me play the game. He thinks it’s just great, he’ll sit there and just watch and watch, he just thinks it’s great. My older kids love to play it as well, they think it’s funny to draw goofy looking things and see how they turn out on the screen, and they really like the fact that they’re actually creating part of the game. For the most part they picked it up very quickly and were happily playing and enjoying themselves. After watching me play they just jumped right in really. As you progress in the game the lines that you can draw are physics lines where they’ll fall and move around if you knock into them, that was the only part where they didn’t quite grasp it. Once I showed them though what to do and how it works they were fine with it and were drawing with no problems and continuing on with the game. My kids like this game a lot and to me that’s what counts, they can play it, it’s not violent, and it’s fun and I can let them play without worrying about what their doing or just what it is they’re playing.
To go back the beginning here where I mentioned the other reviewers and their techniques, I disagree with them and most of their scoring really. Yes it’s not an adult game, but it’s not meant to be either, it’s kids game plain and simple and that’s where it shines, it’s bright, colorful and just fun to play. My kids where smiling and laughing and just having a good time playing Drawn To Life The Next Chapter. I even like this game myself honestly, I think it’s great little fun game to play, but my children love it and that’s what counts!
Drawn to Life The Next Chapter is not a game that many adults will like, but that doesn’t matter too much as it’s aimed at children and not adults. Don’t get me wrong though, adults can like this game, myself included, but kids will love it, it’s bright, colorful and just plain fun for children. If you’ve got small children then you might want to seriously consider getting this game for them, if they’re anything like mine then they’ll love it.
+Great kids game
+Lots of fun
+A truly interactive game where you get to design the game itself
-Most older and adult gamers will not care for this title