While nowhere near as powerful a gaming tool as, say, Microsoft’s ingenious Kinect device, THQ’s uDraw tablet is still an attractive alternative to the reams of shooters scrambling for the attention of parents on shelves across the country this Christmas season.
Originally released on Wii to a warm(-ish) response, the hardware has since had a swish overhaul complete with a stylish new look, HD resolution and a brand new set of touch screen features. It’s simple enough to set up and despite its plasticity, THQ’s hardware is a fairly solid piece of kit – with the exception of the stylus, which feels a little too flimsy.
Whether or not an ankle biter has the ability to damage it easily remains to be seen - sadly, we didn’t have one around to put that theory to the test and our attempts to lure one off the street with a bag of skittles and the promise of fame on Empireonline.com were met with the stares from a handful of concerned.
Despite one or two design shortcomings, Empire had plenty of fun tinkering with the bundled software, Instant Artist, a nifty little time filler that’s divided into two – art lessons and freestyle drawing. Lessons range from sketching something as basic as an apple before moving on to more sophisticated objects that require additional legwork such as shading and perspective, before ushering you into the main event – Art Play – where you’re able to run wild with the tablet’s full feature set and more.
Throw in a handful of mini-game and goofy challenges that rely on the device’s functionality and you’ve got yourself an intriguing little package. Whether or not uDraw succeeds out there in the wild, however, is ultimately up to the software that follows in its footsteps.
Reviewed by Sebastian Williamson