I was never very good at drawing and colouring in. Recently I found one of my old school books. It contained a picture of a horse that looked like it should have been strangled at birth. I know it was a horse because I’d written the word ‘horse’ at the top of the page.
Thanks to Paint By DS, today I got the chance to see just how far I’ve come since then. Not very far at all, it turns out.
The bulk of the game is all about colouring in famous paintings from artists including Van Gogh, Cezanne and Hokusai. As a total ignoramus when it comes to art, I’d never heard of the last one, but it turns out he did a picture of a big wave. Funny thing is, I’m wearing a T-shirt with that exact picture on it today. Cue Twilight Zone music.On the top screen you get the original artwork, while the bottom screen is your palette and canvas with an outline rendition of the picture above. Then it’s just a matter of getting stuck in. The idea is not just to avoid going over the edges, but to emulate the style of the original. Once you’ve finished you get a bit of feedback. Apparently, my use of colour is “far beyond what anyone has done before. It’s a veritable rainbow of colours.” My technique is described as “quite original. It’s almost like you’ve created your very own style.” I seem to remember my primary school teacher saying much the same thing when confronted with a picture of a mutant horse with club feet and a head like a potato. But the truth comes out with the final star rating: half a star out of a possible five.Continued painting unlocks further masterpieces for you to massacre, and there are a number of mini-games to keep you entertained if you get bored of the main game.Useless as I am, I like it. It’s quite therapeutic and a lot less demanding than all those Brain Training things – it’s Friday afternoon and the last thing I want to do is hard sums. A bit of art will do just fine, thanks.Paint By DS is released on 29 February for Nintendo DSHorganator out.