The world’s favorite drawing toy shakes it way to the PC as an affordable ($19.99 SRP) new 78 level adventure that’s part platformer and part puzzler. The main story challenge level increases as the game progresses (no difficulty options available) through classic fairy tale variations like Sleepless Beauty and the Ugly Duck King.
Etch a Sketch's main character, Knobby, must contend with Grizelda, who wants to turn the wonderful Land of Aha into Dullsville. Each mission presents a new challenge as you lead Knobby through various obstacles to find items and complete challenges. For example, complete the maze to move Knobby from one point to another.
The action/drawing controls compliment the game actions very well. Smooth moves and entertaining interactions are easy to accomplish. You can draw lines from active dynamite to a bad guy or stun them. You can also block opponents from touching Knobby or blow up boxes that have Knergy characters inside, which frees them. Color matching skills and other educational events also factor into the gameplay.
The fun continues in three more main modes. Knobby's Bounce presents more problem solving challenges as you draw lines to keep Knobby bouncing and rolling through levels. When you want to get creative you can easily find the etch and color modes, which feature extensive drawing tools and smooth controls like the arrow keys, which work much easier than turning the knobs with the mouse.
Once you’re finished in the Etch mode, you can import your black and white drawings into the Color mode. This mode gives you great options including drawing utensil thickness and even chalk. There is no instant fill option here, which is kind of cheating anyway, so each creation is authentically made. Choose your colors from the floating bubbles in the right side bar. Additional options for younger gamers include existing templates and a handy undo button. You can also select a pleasantly voiced audio prompt for further assistance.
You can always print or send your artwork in either the Etch or Color mode. When you send (through e-mail), be sure that your computer settings allow this function before you send something, since it does not always go through even with the correct settings. The game doesn’t include much technical information on this potential issue, so you’re on your own a little here.
This game has very high replayabillity, plus the nostalgic value is through the roof. As a Bryan, Ohio area native, I enjoyed experiencing first-hand Etch a Sketch moments at Ohio Art and still do today. The game’s memories continue through this quality video game that only needs a few technical improvements. Can’t wait for the possible Nintendo DS version!
Etch a Sketch is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for comic mischief.