Published on October 8th, 2013 | by octaneblue0
Review: Art Academy: SketchPad
Developer: Headstrong Games
System: Wii U eShop
Release Date: August 9, 2013
Nintendo’s Art Academy series began back in 2009 as a DSiWare release, with iterations launching on the DS and 3DS over the years. Art Academy: SketchPad brings the series over to a console for the first time. With its use of the GamePad, coupled with the Miiverse social network, the series seemed inevitable on the Wii U. If you own a Wii U and love to draw, this drawing app is for you! Read on for the full review of Art Academy: SketchPad!
On the Wii U’s Miiverse social network, gamers have the ability to draw pictures in any of the dedicated communities for Wii U games and apps. If you just browse around, you’ll find some flat-out amazing works of art. However, on Miiverse, you are limited with a rather small drawing area, and you can only draw in black. Regardless, players out there have overcome the limitations of Miiverse drawing and produced the mentioned great works.
SketchPad seems to be a solution for the limitations of Miiverse, and is essentially an expanded version of the drawing tool on the social network. Compared to Miiverse drawing, SketchPad offers a huge amount of options for your sketches. Upon starting a drawing, you can select your type of canvas and background color. You can start sketching with pencils or stencils, with a variety of different sizes and colors available. And from here, you’re free to draw whatever you’d like. You also have the choice of displaying one of 18 different pre-loaded pictures/photos on your television, which you can redraw or reinterpret on the GamePad.
Drawing is really easy on the GamePad, and the buttons on it serve as incredibly handy shortcuts to make the experience easier, such as zooming in and out, enabling a grid over your drawing, and so forth. Other tools, such as smudge sticks and putty rubber, are available to further enhance your drawings. A number of erasers are available to get rid of any tiny or big mistakes too. While it would have been nice to have an “undo” button, it’s understandable considering that this is supposed to be a digital simulation. As the title indicates, this really is essentially a digital sketch pad. Once you’ve completed a drawing, you can submit it to the SketchPad Miiverse Community, and you can also share your creations on social networks like Twitter too.
While the drawing functionality on SketchPad is nice, that’s all that there is to do on this app. Previous iterations in the franchise included art lessons that you could follow and draw along with — while this feature is included in the menu, it’s locked and not available at this time, and the same goes for app’s Gallery function. These are set to be added at a later date.
If you like drawing and you have a Wii U, then downloading Art Academy: Sketchpad is a must. While light on features, there’s enough drawing tools here to create some fantastic drawings. And at $3.99, it’s not expensive at all.
+ More drawing options than Miiverse
+ Simple interface
+ Low price
– Light on features
Final Score: 3.75 out of 5