Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter Review
Wii | DS
Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter box art
System: Wii, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Planet Moon Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov.27, 2009 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

I suppose that's what they would call the numerous dotted boxes around the game world you create real-time drawings in to get through levels. Of the three box types, drawing in a red box produces an object that reacts to physics and gravity, blue makes stationary objects, which are usually used as makeshift platforms to jump on, and green creates a surface you can bounce on.

Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot

Again, any creativity that might've been is stifled, as you only have a limited supply of spray to draw with. From a design perspective, this makes sense; objects can only be the size of their boundary-box, driving you to act judiciously when approaching how to get past an area. But it also backfires in a terrible way: without creative control, you will literally just be drawing lines and simple shapes (to either jump on or move, generally), and because these in-level canvases are puzzles linked to level progression, you will be stuck in an area until you draw the necessary components to get past it. If the developers are going to force you to play with their level blueprints, then what exactly is the point of having to draw in big parts of the level yourself? It's like the dev team just became lazy and decided to have the player draw in their own exit strategy, when it would've actually been faster to have the dev team finish the level themselves and utilize the drawing mechanic elsewhere.

Bottom line is this process brings any kind of fluid or graceful progression to a grinding halt. Worse, it makes the game unbelievably tedious. There's just too much uninteresting drawing. At the start of each of DTL Wii's four worlds, you get to draw a new ability-based object (non-transferable to other worlds) for your character, such as a monkey tail that lets you perform 360-degree platforming, or claws for climbing up walls. After that, there's god knows how many objects to draw in and god knows how many more to populate levels with for fun. Considering there's a brief-ish loading screen for every canvas you bring to life, this slows down the already huge levels.

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Add in all the extra, on the fly drawing you have to do using the in-level canvas boxes and it slows your progress to a crawl. Most levels take upwards of twenty minutes to finish, and while there's only six per world, that's just too long per level. The platforming itself is decent enough (if entirely forgettable) but DTL Wii's pacing is so poor that it destroys any momentum that even cliché design has the potential to bring to a game. My personal revenge against the game's tedium was the pleasure I took in simply spelling out the names of objects when I was instructed to draw pictures of them-sadly, on a platform that already has Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros., Klonoa, and the more puzzle-oriented A Boy and His Blob, this kind of enjoyment might be the only DTL Wii can really muster.

By Steve Haske
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
DTL Wii's graphics resemble a mix of Klonoa and other colorful polygonal platfomers, with a dash of LBP. It doesn't look half-bad.
3.5
Control
Controls are fine, if unnoticeable. Switching between canvas boxes isn't done all that intuitively.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
DTL's music and sound are as forgettable as the gameplay. There's no voice acting. Meh.
1.5

Play Value
Dull, tedious, repetitive. Any sense of creativity seems largely wasted.

2.0
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Over 20 levels in four different worlds.
  • Unlock new abilities per world.
  • Create your own character.
  • Populate each level with your own drawings.
  • Unlockable color palettes, stamps, and accessories for your avatar.
  • Solve platform-based puzzles in real-time with drawings.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter screenshot - click to enlarge

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