RetroSketch Universal a great recreation of Etch-A-Sketch

Jul 15, 2010
Games

I have bittersweet memories of that old red plastic sketching toy, Etch-A-Sketch. I was never any good at it, and my brother always grabbed it away from me and laughed maniacally as he shook away all my hard-won scribbles. That said, RetroSketch Universal ($2.99) is such a faithful reproduction of the original, I found it […]

I have bittersweet memories of that old red plastic sketching toy, Etch-A-Sketch. I was never any good at it, and my brother always grabbed it away from me and laughed maniacally as he shook away all my hard-won scribbles.

That said, RetroSketch Universal ($2.99) is such a faithful reproduction of the original, I found it hard to put down. Etch enough of the digital sand away from the glass, and you can even see inside the “toy.” It’s subtly done and really quite elegant.

Controls are not black plastic knobs (that would make an interesting little piece of add-on hardware, wouldn’t it?) but on-screen scroll knobs that operate with the touch of your fingers.

To erase your masterpiece (or in my case, your collection of scraggly lines), flip your iPad over and shake. Just like the original Etch-A-Sketch, the picture will slowly fade away until you’re presented with a clean slate, and you can hear the gentle swish-swish of whatever the heck that sandy stuff was inside those things shaking around on the inside. (Just make sure you don’t get so lost in the experience that you forget you’re holding your iPad and not some piece of plastic!)

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Viki Gonia

Viki Gonia writes a column for her local paper, teaches writing at Columbia College of Chicago, and has had her iPhone surgically attached to her hand.

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