Many of us probably gave up drawing before we hit our teenage years, and I was definitely one of those. So when I saw a PS3 product (can't really call it a game, although there are some mini games thrown in) that apparently can teach you to draw, I thought "hey, why not!".
This is what you get:
* Instant Artist ('game')
* uDraw tablet
Let's take a look at the tablet first:
1. It is well made, feels robust, and is an inconspicuous black so it wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb... I was hoping we wouldn't get garish white peripherals, and I was happy.
2. It takes 3 AA batteries, which can be a pain as 2 would be better. The 'cavity' that's created when you put in the 3 batteries means there's somewhere to stow the USB dongle - not such a bad design after all.
3. I first tried Kodak batteries, you know, the ones you get from Poundland - 12 batteries for a quid. The tablet struggles to stay connected. Then I put in some Duracells - problem solved, and the tablet just keeps going. I haven't tried rechargeables yet, but will update if I do.
Next, the 'game' itself:
1. There are some mini games:
* Alien splat, where you have to use the stylus to 'splat' aliens on the screen.
* Tilt, where you have to tilt the tablet as though you're guiding a metal ball around a maze.
2. Plenty of drawing modes, but crucially there is a drawing tutor (his name is Remmy). The first thing I learned to do was draw a tomato. It taught me how to look at a tomato, and then compose all the elements to make it look like a 2D tomato, and then the final elements to make it look like a 3D tomato. All of it made sense, and I can only guess that trying it out with pencil & paper would yield the same favourable results.
3. For those who are trophy hunters, there is a platinum trophy attached to the game - it's apparently not horribly difficult to get the platinum, so bear that in mind if you're not sure whether to get this game. If you also like the other uDraw titles on offer (Marvel characters, Pictionary, many more to come), then getting this uDraw & Instant Artist bundle is a no-brainer at such a low price.
For a 'game' that emphasises drawing (and hence graphics), I was a little let down. The graphics aren't bad, but there are times when I'd try to draw something and I didn't have the reference image to refer to - all because my stylus "got in the way". It would've made more sense if the reference image could float to one or other side of the screen intelligently.
Sound and music are adequate. Nothing great, but nothing that annoys either. I didn't expect fantastic tunes, but I'm not unhappy with what the game throws up either.
If you've never used graphics tablets before, you might find the uDraw tablet a fiend to begin with. But a perseverence is all you need. It misses out on a 5/5 rating only because it's not quite as accurate as a PC graphics tablet, and it could also have had a button on the side of the stylus which is standard in a lot of tablet/stylus bundles.
It's hard to call art 'fun', but this is the most fun you'll ever get from drawing if drawing isn't your main hobby.
There's plenty on offer to get the artistically-challenged to knock out some half decent doodles. I'd say the package is great as an extra tool to drawing, probably good if you already attend a drawing class or have an 'expert' book on drawing. I wouldn't rely on it solely for learning. For such a low price, it's silly not to at least give it a try. And you'll even learn how to draw a 3D tomato!