Etch A Sketch: The iPhone’s killer new app

When bold analysts dared to suggest that the Apple iPhone could topple the Nintendo DS and claim its position as the #1 portable gaming platform, we laughed at them. Not just a dismissive chuckle, OH NO, that wouldn’t be nearly good enough to express the dumbfoundedness we felt over such a dumb statement that only dumb people could have dumbly concocted in their dumb little heads. Therefore we opened our mouths wide, sending our mad cackles reverberating across the wide series of tubes that is the Internet to let them know just how mad their wild predictions were.

But then, maybe we were the mad ones. That’s right, maybe the iPhone can beat out the DS, but, if such a thing were to happen, it would take one hell of a game to do it. Ladies and gentlemen, I think such a game may have just been released: Etch A Sketch. That’s right, Etch A Sketch. The incredibly popular turn-the-knobs-to-draw-horribly-inaccurate-pictures-device now has now seen its first digital release.

Seeing as how 150 million Etch A Sketches have been sold worldwide — a number that is slightly higher than the DS’ 144.49 million units sold — it is totally clear to me that once all these people catch wind of this nostalgic whirlwind’s release, and buy iPhones simply to play this game, that there will be more iPhones sold than DSes. Logic! And not only will it contain the enthralling etching and sketching that has kept children captivated since 1960, but now it’s in color. My mind is officially blown.

Etch A Sketch on iPhone is a doodler’s dream,” said Craig Holland, CEO of Etch A Sketch developer Freeze Tag, “With the innovative Multi-Touch user interface you can actually create artwork by touching both ‘digital’ knobs at the same time, something you can’t do on any other wireless device, or you can just use your fingers to draw directly on the gray canvas.”

Hear that people? Something you “can’t do on any other wireless device” … except, oh wait. Actually, there is something very much like this; in fact, it’s a free homebrew program on the DS called Colors. But, but, in the iPhone version of Etch A Sketch you can clear the screen by shaking the iPhone, a totally innovative feature that makes the game more than worth the $4.99 price tag. Colors totally doesn’t let you clear the screen by shaking the DS which obviously makes it inferior. What now, Nintendo? What now?

Tustin, CA – July 10, 2008 – Freeze Tag today announced that a native version of Etch A Sketch, the world’s favorite drawing toy, will be available from the new Apple App Store beginning today. With finger-touch drawing, coloring options, shape creation and photo import/export, this digital doodling application offers much more than the original analog toy. And just like the classic toy, you can “shake” your iPhone or iPod touch to erase your sketches.

“Etch A Sketch on iPhone is a doodler’s dream,” said Craig Holland, CEO of Freeze Tag, “With the innovative Multi-Touch user interface you can actually create artwork by touching both ‘digital’ knobs at the same time, something you can’t do on any other wireless device, or you can just use your fingers to draw directly on the gray canvas.”

With more than 150 million Etch A Sketch toys sold since 1960, The Ohio Art Company looks forward to a whole new generation of creators experiencing the brand through the iPhone. “Etch A Sketch is a classic toy brand that comes alive on the iPhone,” said Martin Killgallon, senior vice president of The Ohio Art Company. “We believe our consumers will be excited to see an innovative digital version of the classic toy they grew up with as a child,” he added.

Etch A Sketch will be available for just $4.99 from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/

Also, Freeze Tag and Ohio Art announced that the Macintosh & PC versions of the digital Etch A Sketch are now available for download on major Internet casual games portals. In addition to extensive drawing tools, the Macintosh & PC versions include a set of games featuring the adventures of an all new character called Knobby™. In the fall, a packaged CD-ROM version will be available through major retail stores across the USA.

Justin Villasenor