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App Friday: Sketch Nation Shooter for iPhone

If, like me, you’ve always liked the idea of creating your own iPhone game but lack the necessary know-how and the motivation to learn, then Sketch Nation is for you. It’s a basic yet strangely addictive scrolling shooter game, with the goodies and baddies all drawn by your own fair hand.

For quick and simple mode, you just have to come up with one shooter and one enemy – you can see mine above. The shooter is a rather smart top-hat-wearing scarecrow, while the baddies are horrible arachnids. They’re nobody’s friend.

However, if you’re feeling super imaginative you can sketch out a player, five enemies, a boss and four level sections in advanced mode, as well as having the option of drawing an introduction or title screen.

Drawing your characters on white paper and taking a picture using the iPhone’s camera can be a bit hit-and-miss – it took us a couple of attempts to get it to register all the parts of our drawings. You can choose items from your photo library as well, which is only really handy if you happen to have a photo of a drawing. We couldn’t get it to register any actual photographs of people or figurines which is a shame.

Still, if you’re really lacking inspiration, you can always use one of the pre-drawn art packs of characters and items –  Sugar Rush is full of tasty treats, while the others are more like standard shooter fare. Failing that, just play one of the pre-created games that come with Sketch Nation Shooter, lazy bones.

It takes a little while to get your game up and running, as processing the images takes a couple of minutes – and that’s without factoring how long it’ll take you to brainstorm and draw your characters. But once you’ve made your opus, it’s straightforward to save it and come back to it later or, if it’s good enough to share, publish it to your Facebook profile for your iPhone-owning friends to enjoy. [iTunes download link]


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