I’ve always been addicted to making my own games ever since I discovered Flash, and since Apple has decided there will be no Flash on the iPhone, a new product by Engineous Games called Sketch Nation makes a nice replacement for silly fun. Basically it allows you to make a scrolling shooter game using your own art or photos which is pretty ingenious just like the developers name suggests! You can either draw directly in the iPhone or iPad in an app such as Sketchbook Mobile or Brushes, or you can take photos or import artwork for use in your spiffy custom game.
I would give it 5 stars but I think it could be improved a little bit. Maybe it’s me but I really can’t seem to get the collision to work on the backgrounds and no matter what type of art I do for the scrolling backgrounds it’s all big and pixelly, regardless of the fact that I used crisp vector art. To the person who can’t get their art big enough it’s best to make the art exactly 512×512 so it maximizes the area. If one part is shorter than 512, it scales the drawing for some reason making it look small. Blocky objects work best. To the other fella who mentioned his characters are all invisible, the reason your characters don’t show up if you are using art is that there is a line with a hole in it and the alpha channel seeps making the character invisible. Just like the paint bucket in Photoshop, you have to close all lines. If it’s a photo doing that I would say you took a bad photo that needs tweaking and better light as the app says. I would love to see more features in future versions such as to allow for different types of games, like for instance a Mario type sidescroller or a Pacman sort of game or an old school Robotron sort of game. I also think it would be fantastic to allow for some animation in the next release such as adding character blinking, arms moving or maybe a glow. Also it would be nice to be able to make your own ammo and powerups if you so choose and to be able to animate those as well. I know pretty ambitious but if anyone can do it these guys at Tatomic can!
All in all it’s a fantastic app, and if you want to create your own iPhone games there’s no way you can beat this for one buck!