He’s No Da Vinci, But...****
BASED ON DEMO
I initially played the beta for this game, and really didn’t care much for it, although most of it was very good and professionally done. There have been significant improvements, which I saw immediately upon starting the demo. Nice to know those beta surveys are actually of use! The intro is different, and quite amusing, but it never really grabbed me.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
For a game about art, it is very dark. Mind you, the art is not Van Gogh or even Picasso, but of a much deadlier genre. The art is actually quite lovely in parts. Including the fatal stuff. The game is dark, but not so dark that you cannot see the colours around you or the items in HOP scenes. Exterior shots are not, to my mind, on a par with the close up and HOP scenes, but it is nevertheless of a professional standard.
The music and background noises are so unobtrusive I can’t remember them – whether that’s good or bad I’ll let you decide. I do remember some almost inaudible mutterings, as of people just out of hearing range, which I thought was absolutely excellent atmospheric stuff! The voices of the characters are also very well portrayed. Particularly young Beckie.
A spurned lover turns to his (magical) art to take his revenge. From his palette spring forth all manner of scary stuff, from medieval dragons to deadly plants. But we are not helpless. We too can wield this magical palette and paint needed items into life. Got an evil flower to deal with? Paint up some weed killer! And that is exactly what you do. Some of the other problems caused by this grieving madman are really quite humorous. How much trouble can a bowl of Jello be, after all? Well, that depends on your point of view – outside looking in, or from the inside?
A nice variety of puzzles and 3 types of HOPs. There are simple silhouettes, multiple items, and HOPs where you must replace the items to their correct spots. Each location is visited twice. The puzzles so far are easy and quite fun. I did not find the adventure moves intuitive, so had a bit of a hard time getting around for a while. But there is an interactive jump map, very basic but it does the job. And a directional hint. The journal consists of pages on the story and replayable videos.
One thing about this game I like, there is plenty to do in each scene. This does lead to a little back and forth, but so far the locations are sensibly proportioned. Another thing that is kinda fun because it’s different, is a little thing. The needed items are sometimes found by being dislodged from their hiding spots within a HOP by the activity you are generating in it. Nothing spectacular, but worth a Mona Lisa smile. (*rueful grin* sorry, just had to)
There are lots of achievements, including the collectibles, 30 lovely little birds, each different. The rest is standard. Wallpaper, concept art, music, strategy guide, bonus chapter and replayable mini-games. The mini-games are accessed by another bonus game, Birds. About which I know nothing.
This is a great concept, which the devs have handled quite well, if not sensationally. I certainly would have made more out of the magical pallet than they did. So I’m not overwhelmed, but it is definitely a decent game. Many will probably rate it higher than me, but I do think it could have been a little better.
I recommend this game!