Sept 17, 2007
Sure, other games may have an unlockable mode, others may imply it, but Drawn to Life gives it to you straight: You are God. The cat-like inhabitants of Raposa may refer to you as "The Creator" but you are very much the the omniscient deity they ask for help, pray to and depend on. So, after years of being lax in your otherwordly duties - you lazy God, you - it's time to pull their town out of years of ice and anguish. And you'll sew back the book of life to its former glory by finding pages and people scattered throughout nearly 20 levels.
Above Left: Behold! Our own creation: Captain Anis
In addition to drawing your own heroes, which you'll play through the game with, you're charged with revitalizing the town by drawing everything from signs to plants. You name things, you draw them, you usher them into existence. Our awkward speedo-clad hero might have looked unlikely, but he proved just as mighty as any protagonist. And we got to make just about everything he uses to complete any given level. Seriously, cool stuff.
Never before has the stylus imbued so much, well, style. Even as inclined as the most jaded game reviewer can be to rush through a game in their effort to get to the bottom of things, we began to to take an enormous sense of pride in our art work. Toiling over the perfect color for something as minute as a moving platform, or designing a snazzy hang glider, is kind of the point of Drawn to Life. And we found ourselves captivated by the originality of the game's customability.
Above: If you lived in Dingleberi Hollow, you'd be home by now
But it should be said that even the stuff you don't draw is still lusciously animated and oozing with cuteness. The adorable creatures even cry when you close your DS and rejoice when you open it. We started the game and immediately felt bad for our absence and quickly did our best to get rid of the shadows plaguing the townspeople, as well as bringing back the sun and getting some crops growing. How'd we do this? By drawing a smiling sun, tapping the darkened clouds, and designing the Banya stalks that would help repopulate the fallen city. Which we also named. (*tee hee*)
Essentially, what you're doing is playing a game largely of your own creation. As you've come to expect from the Radar, we veered more towards the goofy and juvenile. Our "snowshooter" wound up being a rat that fired slush from his butthole. It was truly Hanta-tastic!
As far as the gameplay itself, hardcore gamers probably won't bat an eye at the by-the-numbers platforming collect-a-thon. But Drawn to Life is nonetheless an extremely solid little sidescroller, with intricately designed levels, hidden items you'll love and originality to spare. And we have ourselves partially to thank. We're welcome.