Sketch Nation Shooter

Sketch Nation Shooter is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Sketch Nation Shooter Review

Have you ever wanted to create your own iPhone or iPod Touch game? Sketch Nation Shooter begs you to answer yes to this question. But you may want to know: Are the games you make worthwhile, or is this simply a cheap gimmick?

Sketch Nation Shooter gives you tons of tools to create your own game. Unfortunately, there is only one genre available, and that is a Space Invaders-style shooter. With the basic premise of the game already laid out, it’s up to you to fill the game with enemies, powerups, and of course, bosses.

You can make players dodge anything you want!

The biggest opportunity for customization in your game is in the character design. You can simply choose from pre-made images, or you can draw your own and share them online through Facebook. Drawing your own can be both fun and inventive, and we saw quite a few unique ideas from the various user-created games already available for download.

It wasn’t all pretty, though. We did run into several issues when drawing characters. Images would sometimes be converted into black and white, or be completely out of focus.

It also became evident that when playing a game created with custom characters, the shots won’t damage the player unless they hit right in the middle of the image. This doesn’t completely ruin the game, but it does make the game quite easy, especially when your character is bigger in size.

There are tons of small customization options for the player and enemies, like the amount of hits each can take without dying, weapon velocity, shield strength, and more. This still doesn’t help shake the feeling that every game feels the same. Even across the numerous games we downloaded and played, they all felt very similar. While a lot of the user-created games were fun, most of them felt like mash-ups of the original included games.

Space Invaders: Jaws Edition

Some players might also have an issue with the user-created game account system. Seeing as how it runs through a Facebook login, you must first have an account and be willing to let the game have control of your feed. While many people have Facebook accounts, the game shouldn’t expect everyone to have one they want to use.

Sketch Nation Shooter is trying to do for the iPhone what LittleBigPlanet did for the PS3. The customization isn’t as vast, but you will still have fun playing around with the user-created games, and of course your own. As long as you haven’t already had enough of top-down Space Invaders-style games, you will enjoy playing around with Sketch Nation Shooter, until the gameplay starts to wear thin.

Sketch Nation Shooter Hands-On Preview and Video

Should you think 2D shooters has been executed in every possible way, Engineous Games wants you to think again. Sketch Nation Shooter isn’t about having you play a predetermined set of levels created by the developers. Sure, that element is there, but the crux of this experience is based on providing users the playground to deliver their own visions and sharing them with the world.

You’d have to look to console games like Little Big Planet or ModNation Racers to grasp the ambition of Sketch Nation Shooter. But unlike those games, the creation tools here aren’t nearly as complicated to use. Depending on how in-depth you’d want to get, Sketch Nation Shooter allows you to import intro graphics, level layouts, and assets for characters and enemies. Using the iPhone’s camera, you can take a snapshot of an image you’ve drawn and, within seconds, it can become a real asset in your game.

After you’ve sorted out the assets to be used in your game, the next step is to flesh out the level design. That includes everything from enemy patterns, power-up drops, background music, boss music, and other options to fine-tune the experience. From the creation menus, testing out your level is quick with lightning fast loading times.

Actual gameplay is familiar and solid, in a very good way. Dragging your thumb around on the screen moves your flying ‘insert noun here’ around and shooting is automagically handled by the game. Hitting power-up icons upgrades your firepower to include spray shooting and sporadic missile launches.

Unlike other shooters that can end from catching a random stray bullet, Sketch Nation Shooter provides you with three lives and a life meter for each of them. Though this is an early build, some of the developer-made levels were a little too crazy and unforgiving for our taste. Hopefully they get tuned before the game’s release.

One aspect that we weren’t able to dig into was the social networking offering. Our preview build didn’t have any of the online features enabled, but we’re excited by what’s on tap. When this game hits your hands, you’ll have tools to upload levels, download levels, and rate the experiences you have.

Assuming enough people use the development tools here, this could be a game that keeps on giving. Our only concern is the noise and obscenity factor that comes into play with user-generated content, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the potential of the online offering delivers.

Sketch Nation Shooter is projected to launch at the end of March. As usual, we’ll have a full review when this potentially revolutionary shooter hits the market.