Sketch Nation Studio is the follow-up game to Sketch Nation Shooter, which first introduced us to creating our own games for iOS. Whereas Shooter only allowed you to create a overhead flying game, Studio gives you several options for your potential game and actually offers you the opportunity to release that game on App Store. While creating your own game may sound like a hoot and a half, you may find your imagination limited.
Sketch Nation Studio offers five types of games to create, but they all boil down to running, flying, or jumping games. With each type of game, you can also choose to use the game’s Simple or Advanced Modes. Depending on which mode of game construction you choose, you will have more or fewer creative decisions to make about your game. For instance, in Simple mode, you can create your character, obstacles, and background. In Advanced mode, you can also choose types of enemies, power-ups, game music, and sound effects.
In order to create your game’s cast of characters, you have even more options. You can choose to draw the character directly on your devices touch screen. The game gives you enough tools to draw pretty well, if you’re an artist. If you’re not an artist and want more than stick figures, you can also pick from photos on your Camera Roll, provided the figures can be easily taken from the photo.
Sketch Nation Studio highlights the fact that you can also draw on actual paper and scan your photo in to the game using your device’s camera. We tried doing this on multiple occasions and followed the game’s directions of using thick, black ink and good lighting, but our drawings never came in perfectly, if they came in at all. Most of the time, the game would pick up some of our drawing but not all.
This game does also offer you options for sharing your game. You can create a Studio account and share your game with friends who also have Sketch Nation Studio, creating a small indie game developers workshop. Your other option is to create a stand-alone app and submit it to iTunes to have a chance of getting it released on the App Store. Sketch Nation Studio, however, is not responsible for your game and assures you that creating this type of game does not guarantee anything.
While all of these choices may sound exciting, you’ll soon come to realize that you’re only slapping new paint on the same game over and over again. Whether you decide to draw in your favorite superhero or cartoon character, a jumping game is always going to play like a jumping game.
This isn’t to say that Sketch Nation Studio is a bad game. By all means, encouraging creativity and inviting gamers to make something for themselves is a promising idea, but the limitations of Studio end up making every game feel the same. Younger gamers may find Studio fascinating, but we have a feeling that hardcore gamers won’t play around with this longer than an hour.