The Drawn to life series is a video game series for the Nintendo DS, Wii and iOS. It is developed by 5th Cell, Altron, Planet Moon Studios and WayForward Technologies, published by THQ, Agatsuma and 505 Games. There are many games and versions of them in the series so different products have different developers and publishers but 5th Cell are the company who created it
The series revolves around players creating their own playable characters whom they play as (often called Creation Heroes) and creations (weapons, platforms etc) then having them come to life. The games are platformers where players play as their creation heroes in 2d side scrolling levels drawing and bringing creations to life as they progress.
Drawn to life is the first game of the series and it is on the Nintendo DS. It was developed by 5th Cell and published by THQ in America, Europe and Australia in September 2007. In Japan the game was published by Agatsuma on December 4th 2008. On May 21, 2014 the game was ported to iOS by WayforwardTechnologies and published by 505 Games.
The gameplay is made out of three modes:
Draw Mode Edit
The tool, similar to a robust version Microsoft Paint, through which players use to create new objects, weapons and even their hero. This is done through the stylus and touch screen input. Once drawn, objects and the hero itself will animate through the game's own design. The player can design up to three different humanoid heroes using a variety of colors, patterns and stamps. Character creation also features fifteen or so pre-made character templates which can be traced, or have their body parts swapped in and used for those people who are less artistic. An interesting side feature to Draw Mode is that the game's title screen can be drawn and saved, so players can make their own unique title screen. Players can trade their drawn heroes and other objects via local wireless.
Adventure Mode Edit
A side-scrolling platformer, laid out into sixteen unique levels. Adventure Mode is where the "meat" of gameplay is done. Here the player battles enemies, rescues Raposa, and collects items. Players draw unique platforms that allow the player the progress through the level. Bosses are also battled through this mode. There are four different worlds: Snow, Forest, Beach and City, each with their own boss. Players are tasked with rescuing three Raposa (usually one is named and two are random), and four pieces of a page from the Book of Life which will be used to create a new village object. Players can also collect "secret" orbs (three per level) that will then unlock and be purchasable in the item shop. In each section of the levels players tap on an easel icon to enable Draw Mode, which tells the player to draw some new type of platform or object. Once drawn, the player goes back to Adventure Mode and can then use or interact with the newly drawn object.
Village Mode Edit
A top-down, central "hub" where the player progresses the story and interacts with the Raposa, purchases items from the item shop using Rapo-Coins collected from Adventure Mode and also accesses levels. Players draw different items at the Raposa's request to enrich their village. Over the course of the game in village mode, the player will play mini-games, participate in a town festival, hunt for a thief and help the Raposa thrive. Here players are given their objective for the next Adventure Mode level. There are two main buildings in this mode—Creation Hall, where players can edit their previous creations, and the Item Shop, where players can purchase songs, patterns, stamps and even new abilities for their hero.
Drawn to life: Spongebob Squarepants Edition is a spin off of the original Drawn to life game released in September 2007 and it revolves around the animated comedy series Spongebob Squarepants. It was developed by Altron and published by THQ. It was released during September 2008 in America, Europe and Australia. Two months later in November 2008 it came out in Japan.
The gameplay is similar to that of the original game. Players create their own playable characters which they play as along with many other creations and they then come to life. There is also a home for the Hero which can be customized. Unlike the first game there is a VS multiplayer mode. The bosses work differently but whilst the levels are different they work similarly to those of the original Drawn to life game.
The game has a story set in the Spongebob universe where an artist is sailing on a boat and drops two magic pencils into the ocean. They are found by the Spongebob character Patrick who recongnises them as pencils that can draw things and bring them to life. He accidently draws DoodleBob (an antagonist from the Spongebob TV show) who now being bought back to life rushes to Bikini Bottom (the setting of Spongebob) to cause carnage.
Spongebob and Patrick find the second magic pencil then draw a hero which comes to life. The Hero sets out to save Bikini Bottom from Doodlebob.
Drawn to life: The Next Chapter is the name of the two sequels to the original Drawn to life. One is for the Wii the other for the DS.
The wii version was developed by Planet Moon Studios and published by THQ. It was released in Europe, America and Australia October 2009.
The game's draw mode works the same way as the DS game's but is however done on the Wii screen. Instead of the stylus the wii remote is used to draw inside the outlines.
It includes an Action Draw feature where players draw into the levels to help them progress further.
The story of the wii game is set after the original's and before the Next Chapter on DS's. Creations from the Raposa Village are being stolen and The Hero is sent to solve everything. Mari is now the mayor and has an assistant called Circi who later turns out to be Wilfre's girlfriend and has a goal of bringing him back to life.
The hero creation tool is upgraded and players are now able to add or takeaway legs and arms from their hero. There is an action draw feature like the Wii where players draw an Altar which they can use to draw lines into the game which help them progress. There are many different colored lines and each color works differently from the next.
A collection of the original Drawn to life on the DS along with the DS version of Drawn to life: The Next Chapter.
When 5th Cell transitioned from mobile games to the Nintendo DS, their creative director Jeremiah Slaczka came up with the idea of Drawn to Life. He was inspired by the company's need to make something original that would use the DS's features in a unique way. The concept was in Slaczka's head for roughly six months before the company began prototyping it.
The initial idea of Drawn to life was simply that players create drawings which come to life. From that concept the platforming aspect was built around it and tied to the village and game story. Whilst in development 5th Cell wanted playing the game to be an experience deeper than just the gimmick of having drawings come to life. 5th Cell made sure players were always drawing something new and unique to add to the game world. The biggest technical challenge was making the drawing tool easy to understand yet not limiting how players could draw though they apparently felt confident with the result and the developers did not want to limit players creativity as to what they could create. The game was tested a lot, Jeremiah Slaczka believed the concept would work well on the wii, and 5th Cell took a wii drawn to life as a considerable possibility.
The game was released from September 10, 2007 to December 4, 2008 in America, Europe, Australia, Korea, and Japan. It was published by THQ in the US, Australia, and Europe and by Agatsuma Entertainment in Japan and Korea.
In Japan, the game was launched under the title: Drawn to Life: God's Marionette and in Korea as: Geuryeora, Touch! Naega Mandeuneun Sesang.
A Japanese video game company called Altron developed a spin off of the original Drawn to Life game based around the famous children's comedy series, Spongebob Squarepants, called Drawn to Life: Spongebob Squarepants Edition.
THQ was always thinking about oppurtunities for nickolodeon games, when Drawn to life was released they noticed the simmilarity between it and the spongebob episode "Frankendoodle" thus the idea of a spongebob Drawn to life came to mind. Due to the fact 5th Cell were working on other top secret projects at the time, the company got Altron, which was one of their DS partners to make the game instead. THQ apparently wanted each level to give players something new to do.
In September 2008, the spin-off game was released in America, Australia, and Europe published by Play THQ.
Planet Moon Studios and 5th Cell both developed a sequel of the original game under the title of: Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter. Planet Moon created a version for the Wii whereas 5th Cell made one for the DS.
Both sequels were published by THQ and released during October 2009.
In 2013, THQ became bankrupt and had an auction in order to pay off their debts, in which most of their copyrights including Drawn to Life were for sale. The Italian game company, 505 Games, bought the rights for the series in April that year.
On May 21, 2014 the original DS game developed by 5th Cell was ported to iOS by 505 Games and WayForward Technlogies.