Paint by DS Hands-On Preview

Paint by DS replaces the paintbrush with a stylus to allow you to digitally re-create masterpieces.

The DS has hosted many novel new titles, but the release of Paint by DS marks the console's very first painting simulator. Essentially an electronic take on paint-by-numbers, the game will let you replicate 15 paintings by mixing paint and using the stylus as a paintbrush, with finished masterpieces put on display in a virtual gallery.

Paint by DS will feature paintings by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Pissarro, Hokusai, Gould, Redoute, and Bozzolini. You start each project by choosing the tools and materials you want to paint with. There are various types of canvases and paper available, and you can paint with either oil- or water-based materials. You can mix colours on a custom palette and save them to your paint box to apply to the canvas as you need them. If all this sounds a bit complicated, you can keep things simple by going monochrome with a pencil sketch instead.

Paint by DS lets you re-create famous paintings in minute detail, mixing colours and using the stylus as a paintbrush.

As Paint by DS is a painting sim, you can't undo your actions if you make a mistake. However, there are realistic painting techniques that you can use to help adapt your painting as you go along. For example, if the colour you apply to the canvas is too strong you can add water to the area to thin the paint out. This technique is also useful for re-creating a washed-out look to areas of water or sky.

Given this level of accuracy it can take at least an hour to complete a painting, and maybe even double that at first. However, the game does let you save your work in progress so you can come back and apply details at a later date. To this end, you can zoom in on the picture and use finer brushes to give the painting a professional touch. The top screen of the DS is used to display what the original painting looks like, but you can take some artistic license and adapt or embellish as you see fit.

Once you've completed your painting to a satisfactory level, you can choose to place your signature anywhere on the work and then enter it into the virtual gallery. Like any artist, though, you're going to have to take criticism, and the in-game expert will dish out an appraisal of your work in terms of accuracy and colour.

In addition to the painting exercises, there are four minigames to give you a break from all the aspiring artistry. These include a whack-a-mole-style game and a maze where you must guide a pixel around without touching the sides. There's also a colour-memory game, plus a take on block-puzzle games featuring a picture of Hokusai's "The Great Wave."

Hokusai's "The Great Wave" is the basis for the block puzzle game, just one of the four bonus games on offer in Paint by DS.

Paint by DS looks like it will be incredibly simple in terms of design, but painting enthusiasts may well find enjoyment and longevity within it. It's a shame that there are no wireless features, as a multiplayer paint-off would have been welcome, but the minigames should provide a pleasant distraction from the intensity of the painting. The full game is due out later this month, so aspiring artists don't have long to wait to hone their digital skills.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

26 comments
xbox4life76
xbox4life76

can't wait for this to come out. Looks challenging and different.

djAstroboy
djAstroboy

It's also going to have a mode where you play a marine on Random Planet A fighting off hordes of aliens. God forbid a developer eschews the needs of the "core" gamer in favor of pushing for a bit of creativity. Don't forget to cull some sort of explanation for your doublestandards as you wank away on Guitar Hero instead of learning how to play an actual instrument.

greater_bird
greater_bird

It's an interesting idea, and the fact that it's really a painting sim, so you can't take advantage of digital painting techniques like infinite undos and effect filters makes it quite different from all the digital painting programs out there. Of course, the same features may also mean it's only much fun for people already familiar with real painting techniques... A bit of a wait and see prospect.

elfsong
elfsong

I think I'd rather buy paper and pencils/paints...after all it will be a LOT cheaper. £30 for something that is going to get so boring and lacks imagination...after all who wants to draw apples???

cdslim2
cdslim2

at least your not wasting paper less dead trees and i find it boring

Hitamaru-homia
Hitamaru-homia

... i would better like to draw stuff my self,not get a colouring book for 32.99...

dsownge
dsownge

Sounds good but i don't think that this will beat the one that i am using right now. Check my user profile to see what i am talking about.

Nharia12
Nharia12

I can see getting this game for an Older adult who really doesn't like playing games but would like to have something fun to pass the day with or maybe an art student, but that's all I can see getting the game for.

ExK
ExK

A multiplayer paint-off? lol ... gamespot is insane

yeah_write
yeah_write

"a multiplayer paint-off would have been welcome" What?! Does every game have to have multiplayer. Painting is a relaxing solitary (unless you're using human models) process. The last thing painting needs to be is competitive

KirinLime
KirinLime

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Platyphyllum
Platyphyllum

Here's a tip "walter7mm"...buy a pencil instead of a pen, only a fool would actually try drawing with a pen that's incredibly hard to erase without Wite-Out.

DrummerDude1010
DrummerDude1010

Looks interesting. I will wait for the review though.

jflkdjs
jflkdjs

very interesting and looks nice too.

walter7mm
walter7mm

here's a tip "wasted-yuthe"... buy pen and paper

wasted-yuthe
wasted-yuthe

I would like to see a 'free painting' mode myself. I am an amateur artist myself, but would like something for my 4 year old daughter to have a go at, such as being able to draw her own pictures.

wiifan31
wiifan31

Umm ok. well at least your pictures will look alot more realistic and no use of the stylus!!

ZOnikJJ
ZOnikJJ

Sounds kinda... lame.

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

A realistic painting sim? I dunno about that...

JiminycricketX
JiminycricketX

Um... any free painting mode? As an artist myself, I could see myself quickly losing interest in something that requires you to do nothing but recreate other paintings.

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

Certainly something that you would expect to see on Nintendo DS. I could also see a possibility of this coming to Wii. Using the Wii remote to paint could prove quite fun too.

Lilac_Benjie
Lilac_Benjie

[quote="Gamespot"]a multiplayer paint-off would have been welcome[/quote] That's a strange thing to say. I think I would have preferred more paintings. :) It will never replace actual painting (i paint using acrylics myself) but the concept of being able to do it on the bus or at work is certainly novel.