Doodling is an international pastime and with the success of its past games like Drawn to Life, THQ seems to think that they’ve got a winning concept worth taking to the bank. The uDraw Tablet is a device for the Nintendo Wii that, when combined with a Wii controller, lets you draw, color, and paint among other things.
With regards to design, the uDraw Tablet references the Etch-a-Sketches of yore, having a solid white plastic look and a sturdy build. In order to use the controller you need to plug in a Wii Remote, for which there is a snug dock. The uDraw Tablet runs on power drawn from the Wii Remote’s batteries. Surprisingly, during testing, we found that the Tablet was not extremely power hungry, but it would be wise for those planning on extensive use to stock up on extra power.
The stylus comes with an analog pressure sensitive tip that enables it to mimic the function of an actual pencil whereby you control the thickness of your stroke based on how hard you press down on the surface. While the 1-to-i screen display takes a little getting used to when navigating menus, it works like a charm when used for drawing. However, the design team at THQ seems to have overlooked the fact that the when the Wii Remote is docked, it cannot be used to navigate the Main Menu because the Tablet blocks its sensors. This could be a hassle if you are switching between games but since there is such little fare at present, with only four compatible titles available (at time of review), users are spared the annoyance by that unhappy circumstance.
Also, the uDraw Tablet can only be used on a flat surface or when seated, a fact that you are constantly reminded of by the games themselves. That, and the controller stops functioning if you decide to go on a walk with it. This is mildly irksome but such are the sacrifices you have make in the name of art.
Just like how every Wii comes with a copy of Wii Sports, the default game to showcase the capabilities of the console and get you settled in with the controls, THQ’s uDraw Tablet comes bundled with uDraw Studio. As you’d expect, uDraw Studio is an art game to create paintings and doodle with the uDraw Tablet. The interface and drawing options are a mish-mash of Paint and Photoshop borrowing features from both, which should be easily identifiable.
In game you can control the opacity of colors, the stroke or brush size and choose your own colors from a palette or color wheel along with the usual options of fill, shapes, brushes, etc. To break from the monotony of just looking at a blank canvas when you hit that creative block, seeing that moving your television to better surroundings is not usually possible, uDraw Studios allows you to pick backdrops and surroundings of your virtual easel setting the mood for you to begin creating your masterpiece.
The uDraw tablet may not be a Wacom, but then again most of us cannot really draw either, hence the uDraw Tablet is perfect for all doodlers young and old.