Developer: Hitcents.com, Inc
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Lots of people, from grade school children to adults without much artistic ability, use stick figures to tell a visual story. Or play Hangman. But getting back the story thing, what if we could draw a stick person and various other crude sketches and actually incorporate them into an interactive tale, animations and all? Well that’s why we have Draw a Stickman: Epic to answer that very question.

Before doing anything, players must first draw their protagonist. Then there’s a brief tutorial on movement (just tap a destination or tap and hold to steer) and it’s back to the drawing board to give the lonely stick hero a friend who’s promptly captured. Giving chase sees the stick man jump inside of an incomplete storybook come to life, with several chapters that must be completed before he can attempt a successful rescue. Each chapter has preset colored pencils to utilize that represent different elements such as fire or clouds, and most puzzles involve utilizing the provided pencils in order to burn down obstacles, create lightning to revive a Frankenstein’s Monster and much, much more.

I had some concerns when I began playing because I was uncertain of how well Draw a Stickman: Epic would recognize various shapes. Turns out my fears were unfounded as the developers have cleverly tied specific objects and elements to specific colors, so no matter how “wrong” my clouds might look they still make it rain. It’s also a joy to mess around with different pencils and see how the world reacts. Moving a swarm of bees guarding a hidden path by drawing a rain cloud to make flowers grow (bees love flowers) is just one example. And all the hidden items scattered throughout each level challenge players to think outside the lines as they attempt to figure out exactly how they’re supposed to reach them.

I did have a few issues with a few of Draw a Stickman: Epic’s mechanics, however. Not the drawing, that all works fine, but movement is a little awkward for one thing. It’s not so bad that it detracts from the game, but there’s a certain hidden path in the second level that I’ve yet to access because it involves some speedy movement and the stickman just can’t navigate the terrain that accurately. I’ve also had problems with dynamite because there’s no clear indication of what the minimum safe distance is. Several times I’ve kept what I thought was a safe distance only to be blown to bits and have to restart the level.

Draw a Stickman: Epic is a little rough around the edges, but there’s this constant sense of whimsy that acts as a constant (pardon the pun) draw. That and it’s just silly fun to draw flames on various objects and then watch them burn.


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