THQ’S uDraw Tablet turns the Wii-mote into a drawing pad, allowing users to control the onscreen action by drawing with a stylus on a special pad, instead of pointing the Wii-mote at the screen.
The uDraw is a new piece of equipment which you buy that only works worth certain games designed for it, and hooks up to the Wii-mote where the nunchuk does. Once attached, you can nestle the Wii-mote into the perfectly-sized slot, and begin controlling the on-screen action in a whole new way.
Although you can no longer point at the screen, the uDraw Tablet seems to retain all other functionality for the Wii-mote. There are certain games in which you’ll need to tilt the tablet forward, backward and sideways to control the on-screen characters, and you’ll also need to use both the Wii-mote buttons and triggers, as well as buttons on the stylus. The stylus button is actually one big long button that serves two functions depending on which side you press it on.
The stylus is used to “draw” on a clear white surface on the uDraw Tablet. The tip is pressure sensitive, and it’s actually sort of like the clicker part of a retractable pen, in that if you push hard enough, it will seemingly click a little bit extra. It’s not like the DS, which is just a straight piece of plastic. With uDraw, it definitely matters how hard you are pushing.
There are already a few games out that use the uDraw Tablet, and there are expected to many more next year. The hardware comes bundled with the uDraw Studio, and currently there are two other games available: Pictionary and Dood’s Big Adventure. As of holiday 2010, the purchase price for uDraw of $69.99 is only slightly more expensive than a full-priced Wii game. Obviously a big concern with buying a new piece of equipment like this is whether there will be more games that use it in the future, and we’ve spoken directly to THQ reps about this. While they couldn’t confirm a number, they assured us with a sparkle in their eye that not only are their more games coming next year, but that they are quite a few games coming that families will really enjoy.
The uDraw Tablet can be placed on a tabletop, or held in a users lap while drawing. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve for using it, and it is definitely too complex for toddlers. The pressure sensitive stylus requires a higher-level of precision than a Nintendo DS, and there’s also a slight disconnect between drawing on a surface but having the results appear on-screen, in a completely different direction than you are probably used to looking when you are drawing.
Overall, the uDraw Tablet is a solid and promising piece of equipment for the Wii that adds a whole new style of gameplay possibilities for the system. Already there are games available for many different types of players. Aspiring artists should enjoy the uDraw Studio package, Dood’s Big Adventure is great for kids, and Pictionary is fun for families to play together. The control scheme is a bit more complex and nuanced then we were expecting, but we quickly became used to it, and we think kids even as young as 5 will be able to enjoy uDraw.
INFORMATION FROM COMPANY FACT SHEET:
The uDraw GameTablet is a first-of-its-kind, revolutionary game system that provides a unique and fun way for kids and families to play on Wii.
With innovative features that allow kids to express themselves and bring their imaginations to life, the uDraw GameTablet creates an all-new category of play through an easy-to-use system.
The uDraw GameTablet will come bundled with the uDraw Studio game software. Other games available at launch include Pictionary and Dood’s Big Adventure, with more titles debuting in 2011.
• Connectivity – Wii Remote™ docks with the uDraw GameTablet and draws battery power directly from the Wii Remote.
• Exceptional Movement – Offers players unique tilt movement options by capitalizing on the Wii Remote’s motion sensors. Players can control their characters, moving and directing them throughout levels of the game.
• Simple Design – Pressure sensitive stylus features two buttons that mimic the C and Z buttons of the Nunchuk™ controller allowing players easy operation with intricate movement capabilities.
• Accessory Integration – Features convenient storage area for wrist strap and stylus, as well as ink well for quick storage.
• Generous Surface Area – A 4x6 drawing space provides users with plenty of creative room yet remains small enough for easy maneuvering.