It's time to put down Pokemon Go because a new game is here for anyone who's ever thought about becoming a Disney artist. Disney Art Academy for Nintendo 3DS is the best how-to art game I've ever seen. I was wondering why they don't make as many how-to-draw books anymore and now it's clear that they've merely been replaced by this relaxing game.
Disney Art Academy builds up your skills through a series of guided lessons. It begins like a digital coloring book, but expands on your techniques by teaching players how to make shadows, highlights and other texture effects. To accomplish this, each art piece uses 4 layers that players can switch between to avoid modifying parts of the character they've already completed.
As your training progresses, the game begins to remove elements of characters, forcing you to draw them yourself. Starting with facial features or accessories, it eventually comes to a point where you are only given basic shapes or an action line to shape your character around. As a result, each piece begins to take longer to complete and more difficult as you progress through the lessons.
While completing training assignments, you also unlock characters that you can create in the "Free Paint" section. The game advertises that it contains more than 80 characters from Disney and Pixar films, covering the gamut from Mickey Mouse and Snow White to Elsa and characters from Inside Out. In the tutorials, you are told which tools to use. In free paint, you get to decide if your piece will be done in oil paint, watercolor, pencil, pen, chalk or mixed media. In other words, once the game gives you the skills you can create your own works of art with endless possibilities.
There is a story involved in the game, although a quick and mild one that exists solely to give a reason for the art classes and to celebrate your achievements in the end. You are a student at an island art school that is preparing for an art festival, so you're creating pieces to display at the festival. It's irrelevant but offers some fun dialogue in each lesson that helps introduce players to characters they may be unfamiliar with (but I expect Laughing Place readers to know all 80 at first sight).
Disney Art Academy is a lot of fun and very addicting. It allows players to save their work if they haven't completed their piece yet and actually offers great insight into what it takes to make great art. I highly recommend this game to anyone who has an interest in improving their amateur artistic skills in a conveniently portable and relaxing way.
Disclaimer: This game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.
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