Mobile gaming, as you probably know, is super popular: people play games on mobile. Because of that, there are tons of games for Android; they even have their own section in the Play Store, completely separate from “Apps.” I have my select crop of games, as I’m sure you do. I prefer 2D side-scrollers — they are simple, somewhat mindless games that help me pass the time. However, when I came across Draw a Stickman I was pretty intrigued. It didn’t seem like your run of the mill adventure game, so I downloaded it and gave it a try. What did I think? Let’s take a look!
Draw a Stickman is a game I would categorize as an adventure game, though the developers also call it an RPG and a puzzle game. However you describe it, you take your character across several pages of a story book in order to save your friend. The unique part is that, as the name suggests, you get to draw your character. As a matter of fact, you also get to draw your friend and name him as well.
I really like the style of this game. Everything is “hand-drawn” which gives the graphics a very unique, comic book feel. The artists really did a fantastic job here.
Now that we have our hero and our mission, let’s take a look at how to play. The gameplay is pretty simple; tap where you want to move and use the pencils on the right to draw things you can interact with.
The weapons you are equipped with come in the form of pencils that draw different objects and elements, which you then use to trigger events on each level. For example one of the pencils draw fire, which you can then use to ignite dynamite or light torches. Another draws keys which can be used to unlock gates, treasure chests, and more. As you use certain objects, you can see them degrade. After three uses, you’ll have to draw a new one!
I really like this style of gameplay. It might be because I have an affinity for drawing but it gives the game a really new, personal feel to it; you get to decide what weapon you’re going to use, as well as how it’s going to look.
The game, as I mentioned earlier, is also considered a puzzle game. As you move throughout each level you need to figure out what you need to draw in order to pass certain obstacles. You can also use your drawings to find easter eggs throughout the game.
For all intents and purposes, you’re in a comic book or some sort of illustration. You move throughout the pages based on what you unlock and how you get out of each level — some include multiple paths. Depending on the path, you will either shorten or extend your game. The storybook map is incredibly helpful in this aspect; look at it before you start a level and you can see all the exit points. Then you’ll be able to figure out, once in the level, where they are and determine what the shortest path is — assuming you can get past the obstacle that stands in your way!
The obstacles you face range from rock formations and broken bridges to bees and trolls. What’s interesting, and nice for younger players, is you don’t kill or attack these things. You always need to find a way around them by outsmarting them. That’s one of the many reasons the game is considered a puzzle! I would suggest you walk around each level and explore before deciding what your plan of action is.
The game will provide helpful hints, but it really is a thinking game!
Throughout the way you can also collect comic book pages that give you some insight into the world you’re exploring. You can also pick up puzzle pieces, which later unlock things!
If you decide you prefer a new look for you character, you can also redraw him — or her — at any time! Just remember that you will have to restart whatever level you’re on.
Outside the normal scope of the game — ie the levels you play in order to save your friend — there is a bonus ice level you can unlock, where you get a new pencil to draw snow. You can use this snow to freeze elves that torment you with snowballs.
My wish list for Draw a Stickman isn’t too long. Sometimes the orientation on my Nexus 7 gets messed up and I need to restart the game to get the proper orientation — that has never happened during gameplay though. I also think it would be cool to give your character a set of pencils (or even one permanent pencil) that you can use throughout the game. A new set of missions would be cool too!
Draw a Stickman is a fun, thought provoking, and unique game. Though I would consider it an action game, the object of Draw a Stickman is more than just moving through the levels until you finally rescue your friend. What the game is really about is critical thinking. You will need to do more than just fight to defeat your enemies — you need to learn the level and solve puzzles to move on. I also really like that there are several different paths that you can take, where some are more difficult that others.
If you’re looking for a new game that requires more than just mind-numbing activities, I would strongly recommend you look at Draw a Stickman!