Art Academy: SketchPad

Miiverse is literally populated with fun sketches and awe-inspiring creations — in black and white. What Art Academy: SketchPad promises is a return to color for us Nint’artists. It is downloadable on the eShop for only $3.99, developed by Headstrong Games (who made the previous entries in the series). The title offers raw goods: the pencils and pastels geared to render creativity on white paper. You can also save your creations on your computer by logging into the web Miiverse interface, and by sharing them from the GamePad first. SketchPad does not yet come with tutorials and lessons, but a follow-up for Wii U was announced. While you wait and practice on SketchPad, consider also warming up to the series via the also-recent Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone for 3DS, released last year. 4/5

The Cave

The original Kickstarter gig. The Cave was a big-time limelight affair when first unveiled because of who was attached to the project. The Monkey Island classic series creator, Ron Gilbert, spearheaded the indie graphic adventure-on-Kickstarter approach. The game is a 2.5D sidescroller, except the stage starts when the game begins, and really only ends when the game story ends. Throw a bit of backtracking and puzzle-solving, and you have the meat and bones of the game. The Cave uses dark humor to advance the story. A great way to immerse yourself in the Wii U catalogue, but a miles off from Ron Gilbert’s best. 3/5

Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

This is the kind of game you can’t really fault. It’s got so much it does right and comes with such sweeping innovation, that you play it and will most likely be impressed by some element of it. But did I overhype Runner2? If you enjoyed Bit.Trip Runner on WiiWare (its ‘retro’ predecessor), you will likely still appreciate the mindset that Runner2 puts you in: its gameplay mechanics do not come off as sophomoric or tired; instead, they continue to engage. And still, level environments and the new 2.5D aesthetic do not detract. Do I entirely love the full pixelatino of the original Runner? Yes, and to an extent, I have grown to miss it. Runner2 comes with its own kind of charm, but all things said, it might not be enough to outrun the feat of the previous Runner title. 4/5

Our Verdict

Jordi89 on Miiverse. The first passionate gaming experience I ever had was well into the 90's in a game called Snowboard Kids. I played it on the Nintendo 64, and everything about it was the pinnacle of a blissful, happy, outlandish, cartoonish yet true to life state of mind. Check it out. Because if you do enjoy it just as much as I do, we may be very, very, incredibly alike.


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