Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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5th Cell is back to take another whack at iOS. After the success of their freshman App Store release, Scribblenauts Remix, the developer has taken a nostalgic trip down memory lane and brought their first ever Nintendo DS release, Drawn to Life, to Apple devices everywhere. Does the title live up to the creative aspirations later exhibited in Scribblenauts, or does this end up feeling more like a sub-par port?
Who wouldn’t want to be some form of holy deity, known as the, “creator?” Talk about feeling empowered. Heeding the call of a village being torn apart by a mysterious darkness, it is the player’s job to help clear out this plague and return things to as they once were. Consisting of both touch mechanics and platforming, this interesting amalgamation of gameplay styles complement each other well - as long as the player is willing to futz with controls that leave something to be desired.
As is the case with many iOS ports of games from older platforms, sometimes the title brings along baggage that would otherwise be unnecessary. In this case, the culprit is the dreaded dual screens. There is even a button on the top right hand corner of the display to flip views between the top and bottom virtual screens. Adding insult to injury, there is a large wallpapering in the background, used to disguise the fact that the game uses only half of the on-screen real estate in order to preserve the Nintendo DS’ minuscule aspect ratio. On the surface this might seem merely tacky, but once the drawing components come into play things continue to get worse.
What makes Drawn to Life so cool is that player created/drawn art assets are added directly into the game. The problem with this is the lack of precision available for those without a stylus. Lord help any poor soul attempting to play this on an iPhone, because drawing what the player envisions in their mind will be nigh impossible.
If the title of the game is Drawn to Life, the developer should be sure that the actual drawing mechanics are pitch-perfect. Sadly, this is not the case with this port. As neat as the game might have been on its native platform, it just doesn’t compare after making the jump to next generation mobile devices. Steer clear of this port unless the siren’s call of nostalgia is too hard to shake.