Drawn: The Painted Tower, developed by Big Fish Studios and distributed by Big Fish Games, is a puzzle-adventure game and I think its one of the most beautiful and atmospheric games I've played in a while.
Drawn: The Painted Tower unfolds in a land devoid of all happiness. A young girl named Iris represents the last bastion of hope. Anything she draws comes to life, and her imagination moves her to sketch and paint medieval scenes filled with mythical creatures. With this power at her disposal, there are those who would seek to capture Iris and harness her magic for their own gains. It was for this reason her family sent her into exile to protect her from harm. However, an evil king has discovered her whereabouts and is bent on her capture..
As the player, you've got to enter the tower that Iris is hidden in, find her and help her escape. This is achieved by solving puzzles to unlock the path to Iris. Some of these puzzles take place within Iris' magical paintings that have come to life. There are hidden objects to be collected, memory puzzles, rotating objects to create clear paths, these are a few types of puzzles that you can expect in Drawn. Those familiar with puzzle games won't have much trouble recognising what they need to be doing at each point, and there is a handy hint system where Franklin (Iris' now-frozen guardian) will nudge you in the right direction if you're ever stuck. There is a good variety of puzzles so it never feels repetitive and the puzzles chosen flow well with the story too.
I completed this game on my iPad, which I think is an ideal platform for this style of game. I've previously tried out the PC version, that works well but I'm not a big fan of sitting at my computer playing games when I can be lounging on the couch or in bed instead. The touch screen functionality of Drawn for the iPad worked well most of the times. However I did have a couple of times when I found myself poking a fair few times trying to return to the previous location that I was in, or sometimes I would find myself exiting the scene when I was actually just trying to see what that object in that vicinity was.
The graphics in Drawn are just so beautiful. Everything has that lovely hand-painted quality to it, fitting for a game titled Drawn ;). Every single scene/area that you enter into works well on its own, as if it were each a separate piece of painting. The music is equally lovely, slightly haunting and never feeling too repetitive. And by that I mean that its the kind of lovely peaceful music that even though you do hear the same phrase of music a lot, you don't really get bored or annoyed at it because it's just very simple and beautiful. Each scene has its own piece of music themed to it and it really fit the location and the progression of the story.
Overall, I really loved playing Drawn. I think its an excellent game built upon having simple game mechanics, a simple but tight and engaging story and extremely high production values. If you love puzzles games, I'd definitely recommend checking this one out.
You can download a free 1 hour trial for PC or Mac at Big Fish Games and there's also a free trial version available on the iPad app store.
Here's the trailer for the game so you can see what I'm talking about when I say pretty art and haunting music:
There's a sequel available too, titled Drawn: Dark Flight. At the moment its only available on PC and Mac. I'm really hoping that it will come to iPad very, very soon!
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