Drawn to Life is a series of action-adventure games in which you draw your own character who’ll act as the hero to help the inhabitants of Raposa Village. Originally developed for the DS in 2007, with a sequel following in 2009 and a few spin-offs, we haven’t heard much from the series. Now, after more than a decade, Drawn to Life: Two Realms is a direct continuation that promises a magic adventure for PC, Switch, and mobile.
In Drawn to Life: Two Realms, the world faces a new crisis, Mayor Mari of Raposa Village asks the Creator for the hero’s help once again, and it’s up to you to travel through the worlds of both Raposa and humans to find out what’s going on. Thanks to the Book of Imagination’s power, it’s possible to travel between them and help people by entering their minds and solving puzzles that work as platforming stages.
Each stage is filled with enemy toys where the player will have to find a way through using various means to reach the goal. Navigating the levels isn’t completely straightforward. Aside from typical platforming sections, enemies can be used to reach higher places by jumping on them, and players have a ground pound and spinning skill that can prove to be helpful in certain situations.
There’s a puzzle element in some levels that has players pick the enemy toys’ placements, which ended up being an interesting way to gauge if they understood these systems. Additionally, other stages allow players to spend coins to get extra toys. After everything is positioned, you’ll be able to go through the newly designed level with a time limit, with the option to retry at no penalty.
Following the platforming segments, players can freely explore the robust village of Raposa. While in town, you can interact with returning characters such as Mike and other NPCs while collecting coins and items. The items include toys for your collection and stickers to change the hero’s appearance.
At any time in town, it’s possible to customize the hero. Players are free to draw their own character the way they want, with many options. However, for the people who aren’t as good at drawing, like me, there are various creative templates to use, some of which are unlocked during gameplay. Zombie, skeleton, weird chicken, ninja, and alien are options that can even be used as-is.
The sticker system allows for interesting degrees of customization, with masks, gloves, wings, tails, and other neat accessories. They can be found in the wild or purchased using coins obtained during platforming stages and exploration. Unlocking these stickers was fairly rewarding as I continued to alter my Frankenstein-ish hero. The creation tool can save up to four different outfits, so it’s easy to alternate between them.
After playing for a few hours, Drawn to Life: Two Realms is up to a good start balancing the exploration of its vibrant areas and puzzle platforming sections. Changing your appearance by drawing, using templates, and stickers give players a way to customize their character no matter how creatively skilled they may be. As I play further, I’m interested to see more of the late-game offerings, including how the advanced levels shape the narrative.
Drawn to Life: Two Realms is coming to Nintendo Switch, PC-via Steam, and mobile devices on December 7.
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