Nintendo launched a new app for Nintendo 3DS Thursday morning: Swapdoodle, a free download that lets players illustrate and send messages to friends, with some drawing lessons thrown in the mix.
Available now, Swapdoodle stars Mii characters — like Nikki, the Nintendo 3DS’ unofficial mascot — who put pencil to paper and make some Nintendo-based art. There are stamps to throw in icons from series like Mario Party and games like Splatoon, and Nintendo included “doodle lessons” to let fans trace their favorite characters too. All creations can then be passed along to those on a player’s 3DS friends list.
Although Swapdoodle is free-to-play, these Nintendo tracing sheets are largely available as in-app purchases, along with stationery sets and other doodling enhancements. Other features, like stickers and screenshot sharing, are included with the basic version of the app.
The whole affair sounds a lot like the messaging software Swapnote, which is included by default on all Nintendo 3DS systems. Upon launch, the app was meant for sending messages to friends and via StreetPass. These notes, just like Swapdoodle, included drawings — many of which, it turned out, were lewd. Nintendo shut down the multiplayer parts of the service in 2013 after receiving several complaints, and Swapnote has since been relegated to a local wireless feature only.
How Nintendo will keep users from abusing Swapdoodle in a similar ways is not yet clear — but hopefully we won’t have to find out the hard way, by receiving graphic messages we’d rather not see.