|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Altron||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Combat and movement feels a little tighter this time around. The D-pad and face buttons control most of the action, but youll also need to have the stylus handy, since each level contains foe-producing pockets of scribbles that must be erased via the touch screen. In most levels you can bring along a backup character that can be called upon to unleash a touch-specific special ability.
Theyre helpful but ultimately not particularly necessary. Also, after whomping on baddies, youre given the opportunity to draw your own friendlier versions that will pop up as pals and dance around the next time you defeat a specific foe. Its an interesting new element that works well for the intended audience showing kids theyre not killing bad guys per se.
Like the original, the one area where the game excels is in the frequent use of the drawing program to design various elements in the game. Frequently, new items, creatures, elements, and objects will crop up that require you to draw them in any way youd like. The best part is skill is not necessarily required to make a functional object, but its great to see your own creations in action in the game. The opportunity to pick up and design unusual items to help your character throughout your adventure is also quite rewarding. Drawing and coloring in the editor is simple. It shouldnt be too inhibiting for players who want to get on with the action to whip something up quickly, but it really does provide a great opportunity for creative players to serve a crucial role in the games experience.
Given the more kid-oriented nature of this version, the extra content is tuned accordingly. A series of learning to draw tutorials give tips on drawing different character design elements, including coloring, faces, shapes, and other features, and you can also practice drawing variations of SpongeBob himself. A coloring book option lets you paint colors from a variety of palettes into a number of different unlockable line drawings. Theres also a cheat entry menu and a limited multi-card mini-game to play with. Definitely meant for younger kids, these activities offer simple and fun diversions. They may perhaps prove enjoyable for younger siblings who are not quite ready to handle the main game itself.
Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition is easily the lesser of the two different versions of the game. It ditches some of what makes Drawn to Life so enjoyable, in favor of pandering to the kiddy crowd. The move is successful any young SpongeBob fan is going to love this title yet most gamers should do themselves a favor and just go with the original.
CCC Staff Contributor