Paint By DS
- Developer: Etrain
- Publisher: Mercury Games
One of the downsides of doing these roundup reviews is that I don't get to think of a witty intro headline to place on the front page. A blessing and a curse for all concerned, I suppose. Rest assured, though, had Paint By DS received the single review treatment, surely nothing more than 'Color Me Badd' would be succinctly appropriate in the circumstances.
The game is, as it freely admits, less of a paint package and more of a colouring-in game. You select from a number of famous landscapes and still-life paintings which have been drained of their colour and fill them in as best you can, trying to stay between the lines. Points are awarded for how accurately your effort matches the actual article. Beyond that, you're left to your own devices.
There's a choice of pencils, watercolour and oil paints to use for each canvas, the latter two of which require you to blend colours by dragging different ones onto a palette until you get the desired mix. You then slop it on as required, zooming in on the picture to work on the fine detail.
Here's the point of contention, though: to think that the DS's stylus and tiny screen are appropriate tools to imitate the brushstrokes of the past masters is plainly ridiculous. It can't do it. It can't match the strokes of a paintbrush with any sort of precision, nor can the screen's resolution do justice to the paintings on offer. Even my best-intentioned efforts (and, fair point, I'm rubbish at art) made it look like I'd scribbled over the page with a stubby crayon.
Granted, practice makes perfect. Then again, why would those with patience spend time getting creative in a package that is eminently too inept for its grand artistic ambitions? Even the best endeavour seems futile in the face of a clunky control system and a lack of strong visual feedback. To call it a relaxing piece of leisure software doesn't excuse it, either. It needn't be said that a piece of paper and a few paint pots will yield more satisfying and creative results than putting in the effort here.