If you were born in the past 40 years, you’ve probably played video games at some point in your life.  You know how easy it is to get sucked into a long story driven game on your console at home and how rewarding using your phone to slingshot little birds at green pigs can be.  These days, video games come in all shapes and sizes.  Titles have become so diverse in both content and method of interaction. Video games have even been used in schools to teach children since the 80’s, The Oregon Trail likely being the most notable example. Since then, a plethora of titles attempting to teach basic cognitive skills like math, grammar, and reading through play have found their way into homes and schools. But what about art? For those looking to master the brush,  Art Academy is a pleasant surprise.  


Art Academy is exactly what the the title implies. It’s a game designed with the goal of teaching anyone and everyone to draw and paint. Its most recent incarnation, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone on 3DS comes with two educational courses; a basic course, which assumes you have zero knowledge on drawing and painting, and an advanced course, which is great for honing in on your pre-existing skills. What you get out of the game is very much dependent on what you put in.  Progressing through the lessons can be as simple as looking at the finished product (the instructor’s painting) and trying to imitate it, or you can take your time and follow step-by-step lessons that explain in detail why each exercise is significant for the end result.  

As someone who has always wanted to learn to paint, but is somehow always short on time, Art Academy is quickly becoming a go-to resource.  I can easily spend half an hour learning something new and putting it into practice without having to worry about cleanup, cost of supplies, etc.  Of course, there are certain things that Art Academy won’t be able to teach, like the proper amount of pressure to apply to a brush or how to get different types of strokes, but the brushes and pencils included in the game’s creative suite feel surprisingly realistic and behave like you would expect them to, making painting with Art Academy a rewarding experience.   

I highly recommend Art Academy to anyone with a desire to begin learning to draw and paint. If you are starting to get tired of your current 3DS library, or maybe just tired of RPGs and handheld games in general, I’d suggesting coming in and asking for a copy of Art Academy.  While you’re here you might as well browse the rest of our DS and hand-held selection too!