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We have never actually owned or played Drawn to Life the original game, but we picked up this sequel, Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter, because it was on sale on ebay at a very low price of £4 including P&P. We were just looking for a few games which would boost our collection a little and possibly interest the grandson. His autism means that he doesn't really follow trends or like trying new things, so it's up to us to pick things out for him and encourage him to try different games (hence all my toy reviews!).
This game was, for us, a big mistake really. I think we were totally the wrong demographic to have purchased this. The description from the game's makers implies that this is an action game involving lots of scribbling, lots of running around, lots of use of imagination (all things the grandson loves!). But in reality this is very heavily a true video game which requires the player to sit and watch video footage for substantial periods of time.
Playing the game is straightforward for those who understand the instructions, so really this game is suitable for children seven years and over. The content is suitable for three years and over, but a child under seven (or ten in some cases really) just won't be able to understand some of the more complicated directions involved in this game. You have to play the game exactly as instructed or you won't progress to the next level. You'll just get stuck wandering around your little island not knowing where to go or what to do!
The actual drawing side of the game is rather interesting and not something I've come across before. You have to design your own hero basically, and you do this by drawing in a maniquin shaped area using your stylus and a pallette of various colours. It's quite easy to do and you can let your imagination run wild. The character you've created moves surprisingly smoothly into the game, and there's no chunky white lines around the edge or anything - they've found a way to morph the character in really neatly.
The graphics in general are a little on the clumsy side in places, but mostly pretty good and what you'd expect from a DS game. It plays well on our DSi XL with blown up graphics, but we can of course see the faults more obviously on our larger screen than if we'd have played it on a standard DSi or DS Lite. There are lots of rather twee characters in here that I think will appeal to girls over boys.
For us this game hasn't worked out - it's too complicated for the grandson and too long-winded and uninteresting for any of us adults to enjoy. I can see a very particular demographic enjoying this though, probably girls mostly between the ages of about nine and twelve. I wouldn't recommend it for youngsters, teens or adults though.