If you’ve been a long-time enthusiast of the Nintendo DS family, inevitably you may have come across the popular game series Art Academy. Originally a downloadable title for the DSi, the stylus and touch screen controls were intuitive enough to prompt the game developers to make a retail version, which was well received by DS owners. To date, there have been numerous iterations on the DS, 3DS and even the Wii U. Most recently, Disney have lent 80 of their popular characters to make a new game, aptly called Disney Art Academy.
When playing such a game, it’s best to have a few hours free in order lose yourself in the creativity of drawing. Bearing this in mind, it’s very much like mindful colouring, which I’m sure most parents will already be familiar with as it’s become a popular activity for kids at school. The game starts you off with a little introduction to art academy’s professor and his niece and nephew (an unnecessary back story for a game about drawing). Over the course of the game, the professor will take you through 40 individual lessons, spread over 4 categories, such as ‘starter’, ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’.
Lessons start off simple, with instructions to follow the tutorial and keep within the lines. As the drawings become progressively more detailed, the professor introduces more tools and techniques, such as close zoom, to help players refine their masterpieces. As you complete each lesson, the game lets you save your creations to a personal gallery, which I think is a great idea when looking back at where you started and how you’ve progressed. If you’re particularly proud of a creation, it can be exported via the SD card or even uploaded to Nintendo’s Miiverse. Also, the more lessons you finish, the more tools you have to play within the game’s Free Paint mode.
Disney Art Academy is a great entry to the series if you’re interested in learning to draw popular Disney characters. The techniques you learn can also be used in real life creations. Whilst the game is certain to appeal to children, there’s enough content to satisfy the most avid of adult Disney fans.
The game is available to buy from most game retailers and can be found on Amazon for £26.00. The game is rated PEGI 3.