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Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants DS Guide

30/11/2008 Family Family Gamer Guide
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Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants DS

Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants



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Platform games

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The return of the popular platform game where you get to control your hand drawn character see the idea bolstered with a Sponge Square Bob licence. Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants bring the same high level of drawing themed innovation to the platforming fun.

It's one of those type of game genres...

Platform games task you with getting from point A to point B. The world you journey through is usually based on different levels, and populated with enemies, switches and lifts to be negotiated. As you work through each level you pick up various collectables that accrue score, special abilities and access to hidden areas.

But why is it any better than the others...

Drawn to Life's main trick is the ability to draw the body, limbs and head of your character and then see it animate as you play through the platform levels. Other games may offer a degree of character customisation and 'dress-up' but none provide the level of player invention as this.

The drawing isn't limited to the main character, along the way, you'll also need to draw objects and weapons. These include bubbles that acts as floating platforms, or a karate glove to Chop your enemies into oblivion.

The game proper takes these innovations and places them in a platforming mold. Here, the hero must navigate platforms, swim through bogs, 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.

So what experience should I play this game for...

Players are attracted to the game for it's drawing credentials. However, it is the unfolding platform adventure that keeps their interest once the drawing novelty has worn off.

The game does a good job of intriguing the player with drawing requests, before using them in some specific gaming context. The moment of drawing a horse to ride, then coming across it in the game with a hearty 'there's my steed', is a moment that can't fail to bring a smile.

And when can I take a break...

Because the game has an uncommon approach it takes a little longer to get going. The drawing-platforming relationship is thoroughly drummed into proceedings. Players will want to take time over their protagonist's appearance and accessories.

Other than this, the level and mission based structure means that sessions really need thirty minutes to be meaningful - and can extend many hours if time allows.

This is a great game for who...

Young players (even preschoolers) will delight at the simple joy of seeing their stick drawings animated. Proud parents too will enjoy seeing the ease with which their progeny can create moving characters. Those needing some assistance can use the starting templates to draw their character. Beyond this however, the more traditional parts of the game make it more suited to school children.

Intermediates will enjoy the well paced tutorials and quirky drawing based puzzles and unfolding adventure.

Experts may balk at the drawing play scheme, but given a chance this is a game that has plenty to challenge (and engage) even seasoned players.

Written by Andy Robertson

You can support Andy by buying Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants

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Andy Robertson writes the Family Gamer column.

"Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."

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