Drawfighters is a small indie game developed by Wildbit Studios in Spain. With turn-based combat similar to Pokemon, you play as a rookie “Drawfighter” making your way through the ranks and trying to win all three volcano tournaments. Players are given a choice of three different characters and can unlock more along the way. Sound familiar?
Combat in Drawfighters is simple: each team has three fighters, each fighter has three moves, and each has a weakness to certain elements and strength against others. Players take turns picking one attack each round or can freely switch fighters in and out. Combat continues like this until someone has no more fighters left. You don’t really need to pay attention to this at first, as Drawfighters is extremely easy until the final volcano tournament. Then some depth starts to show up.
The base campaign in Drawfighters is very short, at about three to four hours. Along the way players earn gems they can spend to upgrade their fighters. These unlock new abilities or pump up stats. The attacks that unlock are fairly simple, as is most of Drawfighters. Heal, damage, damage over time, etc. The attacks themselves, like the rest of the graphics in Drawfighters, are also very basic. It feels like the game would of been more at home in a mobile platform given the look and feel.
The main feature that impressed me about Drawfighters was the accompanying mobile app and ability to draw and import your own hand drawn characters, even superimposing a photo into the face. This was pretty neat. I think I spent more time doing this than the actual battles. That’s the problem, Drawfighters just isn’t very much fun to actually play. The battles are so easy, and slow, that I spent most time holding the fast forward button (R1). By the time I had leveled up and thought I was ready for tournament number three, I found very quickly how much more difficult the game suddenly became. I had to go back to a boring grind, replaying past battles to get specific attacks that would actually damage my opponents.
Drawfighters is a short and basic non-mobile version of Pokemon. While the inclusion of some innovative ideas are there, and I love the spanish/mexican design flare, this just wasn’t enough to save the game. As a console game with a $24.99 MSRP, it just doesn’t give players enough for their cash. I give Wildbit Studios a hearty “well done” when it comes to innovation and cultural design, but Drawfighters is just not a good choice for console. I can, however, see it being a good mobile game for kids, so maybe they will make the push for that down the road. For now I am interested to see what other creative ideas come from this developer in the future.
Drawfighters is available now on PlayStation 4. This review is based on a copy provided for that purpose by the publisher.