Imagine a game where you could draw almost anything you like and it comes to life before you, allowing you to go on an adventure as a character of your choosing, be it a badly drawn mini-you stick figure, that looks like a two year old let loose with the crayon set, or the scariest thing your mind can create, it’s up to you.
Developed and published by Hitcents, they boast that their game is like no other game you’ve played before and is all about creative thinking, giving you complete creative freedom to come up with all the wacky creations your imagination can conjure up, it also lets you create the character you go on an adventure to rescue, be it a mass of orange squiggles or a princess, that with my drawing skills, looks like she fell out of the ugly tree and hit every single branch on the way down, only to be run over by a bus when she hit the bottom.
Draw a Stickman Epic: Xbox One [Reviewed] PC
Publisher: Hitcents.com Inc
Release Date: 11 September 2015
Price: £6.39 [Disclosure copy provided by Developer/Publisher]
Previously released on Steam in 2013, the game follows a story of sorts. The evil King Zarp found a magic pencil and was able to draw all the riches his heart desired, everyone wanted to share in his riches, but being an evil greedy king he drew monsters to keep everyone away. Soon, his magic pencil had almost diminished and he sought other ways to acquire other magic pencils, eventually becoming so evil he had the power to control the book he lived in.
Players can either use their controller or the Kinect to draw, I found the controller a little easier and more accurate but during the game I found it challenging to draw things quickly when the need arose. The cursor moves quite slow and when you only have a small time frame, for example drawing a flame under an enemy at the exact moment it rises up exposing it’s belly, it was difficult moving the cursor to get there quick enough. This was something that bugged me during my playthrough, I’d imagine using a mouse on the PC version would be an easier experience.
Progressing requires light puzzle solving, with the player able to use four pencils to draw fire, clouds, a key and an axe. When I say you can draw these things, I mean start off with great intentions in doing so, painstakingly drawing a key, which breaks after three uses, to the novelty wearing off and then just drawing squiggles for the rest of the game, as you can see from my circle key above, yes it’s a key! In the end I was cutting down trees with an assortment of lazy lines, actually I don’t know if this was a glitch or not but it really happened, I managed to kill myself with my own “axe” I started the process of cutting, it moved across the screen and chopped me down and I spent the next couple minutes mouth open, wondering what the hell had just happened.
You’re encouraged to explore the short levels and find different ways of leaving them, with some levels having multiple ways of ending which unlocks a new level. You’ll be able to see which ones you’re missing by looking in the book. I definitely enjoyed wondering around the cutely drawn levels, and envying how good their drawings were, compared to mine. I did wonder why they chose to make everything so brown though, this is a video game, the book doesn’t need to be made of recycled paper. For a game, that’s basically cool, quirky drawings, I wish they’d expanded the colour palette a little.
Of the levels available throughout Draw A Stickman Epic there are many varying environments to navigate ranging from the spooky Graveyards where Zombies require hypnotising to Stickenstein’s Monster, where players are tasked with using a cloud pencil to zap the monster, in order to bring him to life. Although some of the levels appear dark in nature they are very entertaining and light hearted, many of the characters the game possesses are fun to look at and interact with. The games levels all have a very child like feel to them and that’s how it’s intended to be – fun!.
Players interested in playing the game shouldn’t enter expecting a huge level of seriousness, that isn’t what Stickman is about, the intention when creating a game of this kind is to become at one with the child inside of you, we all have one after all, so let loose your creative side and draw something stupid, something that makes you laugh out loud or take your time and really let the creative juices flow, at the end of the day this isn’t Art Attack this is Draw A Stickman Epic and the game should be treated that way.
Combat involves you drawing flames and lightning, although a lot of the enemies can be avoided. There are also a few secrets to uncover in each level, which unlocks colours, an insight into the story and a bonus level, add that to the multiple exits and it really makes you explore and do as much as you can to unlock everything, extending the game a little.
Overall, Draw a Stickman Epic is a short but fun experience, I loved seeing my characters come alive, only to curse my imagination for being so limited, you can change your player at any time and find colours scattered throughout the levels to make your hero more appealing. The levels are short but quirky and require some thinking to unlock all the exits. A great fun game, I just wish they’d played around with colour more.