Developer: Jennifer McGettigan
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Graphics and Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Developed by indie dev Jennifer McGettigan, Drawn Blood is a simple point and shoot side-scroller with playful and rather artistic visuals. Set in the dark, wet woods, the game centers around a red riding hood-esque character taking on the creatures that lie ahead. Armed with just a gun, you aim to kill anything in your path, and try to survive the night. It’s really a fun little game. There’s nothing in-depth here, but still the style of the game is where the real value comes in.

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It seems as if McGettigan has played on the idea of child-like drawing coming to life with this. Instead of the usual polished graphics, Drawn Blood sees the landscape painted in a very weird but admittedly wonderful way. Using two analog type buttons to move red riding hood left or right, you trail the forest floor. Here comes my first caveat with this title. As I played through the game for about ten minutes, the controls somehow became sticky, and which point the character tended to move in the absolute wrong direction to where I wanted her to go. This, of course had me having to exit and restart the game multiple times. At the top of the in-game screen you have four pieces of information. The first is the number of lives you have left. Each level you will start off with 7 lives and you’ll lose a live each time one of your enemies manages to hit you. Alongside this is your choice of weapon. Currently I’ve only managed to find one, a pistol, and to be fair its unclear if there are more to collect. In my experience, the game only offers one weapon, a shame really. Next to this you then have the numer of items you have collected, and finally your current score.

As you progress through the game, the frequency at which wolves appear tends to increase, adding even more challenge into the mix. Also, you’ll come across bonus items which when collected by a tap, add 500 bonus points to your current total. While Drawn Blood is admittedly a simple game, consisting of just pointing, shooting and avoiding being eaten by ravenous wolves, the art style of the visuals used in-game combined with the crazily spooky almost alien soundtrack, really did seem to grab and keep my attention and keep it there.

With all that said though, there is only so much time that can be spent playing a game which is this repetitive. Drawn Blood’s biggest downfall currently is its lack of gameplay depth… or maybe I’m asking too much? .. Maybe this is what the game is supposed to be. Again, this game is good for killing a few minutes and is probably worth the $0.99 it is simply for the game’s frame-by-frame (completely hand-drawn) art style. While I do believe it could benefit from more weapons and enemies, and is clearly still a bit buggy, Jenny is apparently already working on an update for Drawn Blood with even more levels, challenging difficulty settings and limiting ammo options, so hang tight!

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