Continuing in their efforts to help DS owners with train their brains or learn new skills, Nintendo has now re-released Art Academy for the DS. Having previously released it as a two part DSiWare download, Nintendo apparently decided it was worth releasing to the greater DS owner population. After having fiddled around with it for awhile, I have to say that it is definitely worth a look if you are into art.
Art Academy takes the approach of teaching you step by step the basics of how to draw and paint, from the basics of drawing circles and trees to painting full still-life images with nothing but your DS and a stylus. Along the way, you’ll learn a lot of real life lessons regarding drawing and painting techniques and composition. Even if you’re already a fair hand at drawing or painting, you may learn a little something from these very thorough lessons.
I’ve never been what you would call a good artist…heck, I can barely draw stick figures. Despite that, I learned more from this title than I ever did in art classes in school. My pictures still suck, but they suck correctly now.
The top of the touch screen is basically your tool tray. Every pencil, paintbrush, eraser, you’ll need for the techniques you’ll learn will be there. Even a magnifying glass for adding finer detail to your drawings will be there. You are given three different pencils and six different brushes, and how you rub the screen changes how each of them are used. Faster and quicker movement lends itself to a different style than slower more precise movement, as it should. Additionally, you are given a palette of 10 colors that can be mixed with each other to create more colors however you see fit.
If you have a DSi, there’s no point in buying this. You can get it for cheaper via the DSi Shop. However, if you have an older DS model and you enjoy art, this is definitely a worthwhile pickup- if only for the real techniques and composition lessons you’ll receive.
Pros: Real life techniques; Some art history lessons sprinkled throughout; Different strokes are actually different in the game; Taught me how to make better stick figures
Cons: More expensive than the DSiWare version