Ah, photo frames, the staple of any novelty gift shop. Have you ever been to a gift store or souvenir stand where they have those picture frames where you put a photo of a person’s face in the frame or bobblehead? And the rest of the frame is like a stick figure person doing something silly like fishing or skateboarding? Well, Faceez, a downloadable camera program for the Nintendo DSi, is like a digital version of those kooky photo frames.
First you have to take your picture. Or you can take face photos of your friends, family, or whoever you want. A handy guide lets you know where to line up your eyes and mouth for the snapshot. After you’ve taken your picture, it’s time for some silliness.
Faceez puts your face photo on an egg-shaped stickman which you can edit and animate in a variety of ways. Add a smorgasbord of hats, glasses, noses, mouths, beards, and other fun disguises to your new creation, or you can give your stickman something silly to hold as well as change the color and outline of the stickman itself. Then make your new ‘Faceez’ stand anywhere in the frame in a variety of poses. Or you can make it perform a selection of pre-set animations. You can mix and match animations for each of the stickman’s limbs, too! Then place your creation in front of a pre-made background, or you can make your own background from pictures saved on your DSi camera file. Don’t forget to save your creation, and you can even post it on Facebook, too.
Probably the thing that impressed me the most about this little toy camera program is how they animated the photo of your face in subtle ways. All you have to do is take one picture, but by automatically stretching out the photo near the eyes, they could create a variety of expressions from scared to angry, and it doesn’t look too creepy or anything either. They also put automatic overlays over the mouth to make it look like it’s opening or closing, as well as other silly actions like brushing your teeth! Plus, the menus on the bottom screen are easy to figure out and editing your photos is a snap. Much easier than other DSi photo programs like MySims Camera.
Faceez is rated E for Everyone with ESRB descriptors of Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief, and Mild Blood. One of the items you can have your stickman hold is a bottle, but they don’t specify if it’s alcohol or not. Could be sparkling grape juice for all we know. And I guess the Mild Blood comes from the scar you can put on your face. But really, it’s a fairly harmless and non-violent distraction. Reading skill is helpful for navigating the menus, but the game is pretty easy to understand. While I wouldn’t recommend a title like this to an older, hardcore gamer, a young kid could have hours of fun taking pictures and messing around with them in Faceez. Of course, parental supervision is always recommended when posting pictures on the Internet. Best of all, Faceez is only 200 Nintendo Points to download, or just 2 bucks. Not bad for one of the better DSi camera programs out there.