Developed By: Digital Continue
Published By: 505 Games
Category: Puzzle, Platformer, Adventure
Release Date: 12.07.2020

The sequel to the Nintendo DS title “Drawn to Life”, Digital Continue brings gamers Drawn to Life: Two Realms. From first glance, the art and style of the game is charming. Having never played the first title, this series of games was a brand new experience in puzzle platformers.

The two realms you will journey through are Rapoville and Belleview. The game begins with Raposa. You learn the realms are in danger and she refers to you as “The Creator”. Shortly into the story, you will design the character you start with. There are a variety of templates; for instance aliens, skeletons, ninjas, and dragons to name a few. You are asked to help find Mike and bring him to Rapoville. You are able to find stickers and templates throughout the worlds, and eventually you are able to purchase them with coins you find in the realms and levels you complete.

While helping “clear” the minds or dreams and negative influences of the villagers in Belleville, you discover a presence named Shadow. You act as the hero, if it can even be considered that. Events take place as you watch in wait, until you are tasked to solving puzzles through platforming levels to help solve the issues or concerns in both villages.

Each platforming level tends to require the player to solve each problem by completing three stages. The first stage is almost exclusively “reach the goal” or otherwise known as a door. The second stage is usually defeat all the enemies. The third stage type is normally where you place certain obstacles or pieces in the stage yourself in order to reach the goal. Later in the game you will experience a forth type, and by far the least enjoyable is the escort stage. In this stage the dreamer moves forward and your tasked to move pieces and platforms to help keep them safe while you avoid enemies and obstacles.

I really hoped to enjoy this game. The art style is charming, the characters are all likeable, and the puzzle aspect of the game was intriguing to me. The original soundtrack was perfectly blended into the gameplay and added an additional level of atmosphere. Unfortunately the choppy and inconsistent controls were a huge detriment. The platforming never felt smooth, and the overall experience in the “mario-maker” style stages left me frustrated with mechanics that could have been designed a little better. There are challenge modes that work to add some fun into the game but allowing the player to earn stickers and coins, but it falls short from feeling satisfying.

At the end of the day, the realms needed a hero and I never felt like one. I couldn’t find a place where I connected as the protagonist. I really tried to like the gameplay, but it was lost on me. The depth of the story was exceptional but it seemed dimmed under the “shadow” of choppy and uncomfortable controls. I am aware that all games are not for everyone, and this one wasn’t for me.

2.5/5

Buy Now: 9.99

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*The Switch Effect was graciously provided this game code for review purposes.