Colors! 3D | Review (3DS)
Chances are if you own a device that allows you to move a cursor on a screen or select something on the screen itself with your finger, there’s probably a drawing app for it somewhere. Throughout the years, drawing apps have been a guilty pleasure of one and many a person trying to kill sometime, even if they can’t draw. Now, Collective Smiles has come up with the bright idea of bringing the ability to draw to the 3DS with Colors! 3D.
Now, I can’t draw for my life. I can barely draw a stick man on paper. If I were to try that on my computer, I couldn’t ever draw one using MS Paint, let alone Photoshop. It’s safe to say that as both a game reviewer and a poor artist that I am probably not your go-to source about how a drawing app on a 3DS would work. (Except that it’s on a gaming handheld?) That being said, Colors! 3D does have some nifty things that you can do with it.
Colors! 3D, if you didn’t catch me earlier, is a painting app, and for a painting app on a handheld gaming device it’s actually pretty decent. It’s not the most robust app of its kind out there but it fits the bill for the system that it is on. When you first start the game up, a brief tutorial introduces you to the basics off the app, where different brush styles and the full spectrum of colors are made available to you. The selling point here though is that you can make 3D drawings. Each drawing has five layers, each at a different 3D depth, that can be changed with the circle pad. Drawing in 3D can always be a bit tricky but once you’ve done it for a while, you’ll get the hang of it. (Unless you’re a horrible painter like myself.) Rounding out the feature set is the ability to import photos from your Nintendo 3DS Camera application as well as being able to draw cooperatively with another person via local wireless.
As much as I’m bad at drawing, and just as bad trying to do anything that resembles writing on a touch screen, Colors! 3D felt very easy to use for the most part. There’s not much I can say about actually drawing since you’re basically just stroking or dragging the stylus across your touch screen but the user interface made it easy to find everything that I needed with just a simple tap of the R button. The only thing I could have wished for was a color picker option that allowed me to save often used colors so that if I started a new drawing I wouldn’t have to search for the exact color I want all over again. Granted, holding the Y button down activates the eyedropper so I can use a color that was already used in the same painting, but this of course all goes away as soon as you load up another painting. Everything else, however, is very well done.
Colors! 3D also comes packed in with online community features, called Colors! Live. Reminiscent of online services like that of Flipnote Studio, the game allows you to upload your own creations online, where other users can comment and “like” them. Hovering over any imagine will automatically start a “replay” that shows the drawing coming to life from just a blank canvas into its final product. (This is also available for your own drawings that you have saved locally) From the colors! Gallery you can download any image to your PC, although you don’t seem to be able to download the MPOs so that you can view them on your 3DS in 3D. (They are viewable in 3D through the app, of course.) The gallery also shows off just how powerful this app can be with its user creations; The ones sticking out the most include a drawing of the Temple of Time as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a Yoshi’s Island themed drawing that looks very true to the game’s art style, and a drawing from "So You’re A Cartoonist" artist Tom Preston depicting a couple of his characters, which look true to his style.
Colors! 3D turns out to be a very good painting app for those that can use it to its full potential. The app can be a great tool for amateur artists on the go, going by some of the results I’ve seen since it was released. Keep in mind that my review score is based on that of a core gamer that can’t draw. If you’re an artist or someone who likes to draw in their spare time and you have a 3DS, you should definitely think about spending $8 to pick this up.
And by that, I mean someone who can draw better than this: