REVIEW: When I was younger and had less grey in my hair, I used to draw quite a bit: futuristic soldiers with jet packs and big guns, stormtroopers and light sabres from Star Wars and Judge Dredd.
I don't draw so much these days, but spending time with THQ's uDraw game tablet has reignited my passion for drawing. Though instead of using a traditional pen and paper, I've been using a touch-sensitive tablet.
The uDraw tablet is roughly A4-sized, is powered by two AA batteries and a USB receiver that plugs into whatever console you're using and has an attached stylus that you use to "draw" on the tablet's surface. It comes with Instant Artist software that teaches you the basics of using the tablet: how to select different mediums, how to draw shapes, and how to use colour.
Being more used to drawing on paper, it took a little getting used to not seeing what you're drawing appearing on the surface you're drawing on, but the comprehensive tutorials will guide you though things. Graphic artists who are well versed in using Wacom tablets will be right at home with something like the uDraw, but the rest of us will take a few moments to come to grips with this new style of drawing.
After a bit of trial and error I managed to get some pretty decent pictures using the uDraw but it was not easy – and practice is needed.
Certainly it wasn't as free-flowing as using a pad and pencil and I felt that the cable between the pen and the tablet could have been longer.
If you have natural drawing ability, though, the UDraw tablet will help you improve through the use of a modern drawing medium.
Bundled with the UDraw is Pictionary, and while fun for a bit, I can see people getting frustrated rather quickly. Due to the limited amount of time you have to draw your clue, there's little chance for detailed sketches, meaning drawings often look messy or incomplete.
The UDraw game tablet is a neat peripheral.
However, I reckon in a few months time the novelty will have worn off for anyone who buys one and the tablet will start collecting dust.
I read recently the uDraw hasn't done particularly well on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and THQ has quite a few UDraw tablets unsold. It has sold pretty well on the Nintendo Wii, though.
uDraw game tablet (bundled with Pictionary)
From: THQ For: PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360