Developer: Nickelodeon
Price: $0.99
Version: 1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s hard not to doodle when taking notes in class. Those with an overactive imagination may have even hoped to see their scribbles move across the page. Scribble Hero plays off this idea and brings hand-drawn graphics to life. It’s an arcade-style action game that’s packed with 50 levels of fun.

Players are immediately drawn into the gameplay when Scribble Hero is first opened. When the game begins, players are taken through a quick tutorial. The story line involves a young hero who has set out to save his girlfriend Dot from deadly doodle monsters.

Controlling the hero is simple. Just drag him across the screen and his weapon will fire automatically. The catch is that he can only fire in the direction that he is facing. To change his direction, drag him over the page crease and he faces the other way.

Monsters come in all directions and they are in many different shapes and sizes. The game quickly becomes challenging, but fortunately there are power-ups, boosts and weapons to help gamers along the way. Killing these monsters results in coins and game boosts like a clock to slow down time, an extra life and even an eraser shield. In order to advance to the next level, gamers must progress from the start to the end by using the indicator at the top of the screen without losing all their lives.

Collected coins can be used to buy weapon upgrades, tombstones to help finish a level, sidekicks and various other power-ups that can be purchased in the store. While all these extra perks are nice, those who need additional help as the gameplay ramps up may find themselves desiring to purchase more coins. Scribble Hero includes in-app purchases for coins that range from $0.99 to a whopping $49.99. What’s disappointing is that it seems like it encourages gamers to purchase coins. During the tutorial, it made me hit the purchase button and awarded free coins for it. This can be a major issue for parents with children, so be sure to turn in-app purchases off before letting the little ones play.

The in-app purchases aren’t necessarily a deal breaker. The game does have a lot of potential. In addition to the 50 shooting levels, there are also 10 evil bosses to fight, rewards to collect and Game Center leaderboards and achievements. Also, the graphics are sharp and imaginative. It’s enjoyable to see the doodles come to life on the notebook pages. I found the gameplay to be simple, but entertaining enough to keep me playing.

While it could use more content like a multiplayer mode and additional elements to make it less repetitive, Scribble Hero isn’t a bad game considering its low $0.99 price tag and decent replay value. It’s definitely targeted more toward children and casual gamers, but serious gamers may also find this title enjoyable if they can get past a few disappointments.

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