art, artwork, review, reviews, tutor, video games

Art Academy (DS) Tutorial Artwork and Review

These are the paintings I made the game. Paintings are in the order of each lesson. Your mileage may vary.

This is a most pleasant surprise, an art game that actually teaches you how to paint. While browsing my local Gamestop an old game called ‘Art Academy’ caught my eye. At first I scoffed at the thought that a Nintendo DS game could teach anyone how to paint but my curiosity got the best of me and I purchased it. I must say as an artist, am impressed with the game.

There are two glaring mistakes, the game teaching you to ‘chicken scratch’ your lines (Always draw your lines long, bold, and with confidence) and the over use of pure white in a couple paintings, However; as a whole it is a well made teaching tool.

The game has 10 main lessons and 10 practice lessons. In the main lessons you follow the instructions step by step to create the images. Art theory and art history is discussed during the lessons giving you the understanding what you’re doing and how to apply it. If you ever wanted to learn how to paint and you own a DS or 3DS I would recommend this.The game’s length is around 10 to 15 depending on your confidence. It might not make you a Rembrandt after completing the course but It will give you a confident foundation to build upon if you want to pursue painting.

If your already an artist, it would basically be a refresher course of the foundations. It’s around $10 used. Cheaper then most art books. 7 out of 10.

I just found the 3DS sequel. I will write a review when I finish the game.

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art, artwork, concept art, daily painting, free games, game art, game reviews, retro games, sprites, windows, wip

Daily Painting No.37 (Ken’s Shark Monster) (Pass 1) + Ken’s Labyrinth 3d mini Review

ken's labyrinth shark monster redesign

A shark monster (at least that’s what I THINK the sprite is) design inspired by a monster sprite in a early 90’s game called Ken’s Labyrinth. This is the first pass. Minor things need to be fixed or redefined with the anatomy. Feel free to critique. After I fix it, I will try some variations, and detail and color the one I think it best. I have no clue how much time I spent on this, I kept getting distracted. The original sprite is Copyright Ken Silverman. The original sprite is below on the left. It has a strange crotch animation in the game, oh the horror.

ken's labyrinth shark monster redesign

I finally finished Ken’s Lab. I must admit that nostalgia is deceptive. Ken’s lab is a 3d first person shooter similar to Wolfenstine 3d. It was made for DOS in 1993. Instead for shooting Nazi’s: you shoot bats, heads with ear wings, crudely drawn sprites representing space pirates, and of course naked pink people with shark heads.  The first episode (The first ten levels) was primitive yet strangely compelling, The art isn’t half bad, the music is short yet catchy, the monsters are awkward but interesting, and the level design is interesting. In short, the first episode is a blast.

The game rears it’s ugly head at the beginning of the second episode. Cash to buy upgrades are everywhere and it easily breaks the game. By level 16, I was so overpowered that I didn’t even have to aim because the heat seeking rockets did it for me. It also introduces your dog companion that follows you everywhere. Most of the time the dog gets in the way of your shots while the enemy’s bullets go right though the dog and injure you.

In the third episode, it feels like the creator of the levels just gave up and put random junk in, and hoped no one would notice. It is so random. And don’t get me started on the invisibility capes that litter the final levels, it’s almost like god mode for the rest of the game. The bosses are super easy, just horde on the invisibility capes before you engage in battle, run into the boss and hold the shooting button down.

One the plus side it had some interesting concepts that where not in many shooters before like, healing yourself with water fountains, fan blades, pool balls that tried to crush you, invisible walls, bouncing projectiles, item shops, weapon upgrades, and pink nude people with shark heads.  Ken’s Lab is still close to my nostalgia filled heart. Also I still think level 19’s music is addictive.

I would still recommend checking it out, as the full version is free. You can download it at the official site here : http://www.advsys.net/ken/klab.htm. Make sure you download the windows port. Avoid playing it in Dosbox.