I remember when I was younger there were a handful of how to draw books and games that weren’t exactly beginner friendly, or the steps didn’t break down well enough for me to make the most of the teachings.
To my surprise however, Art Academy Home Studio not only explains each artistic step in great detail, but also goes far beyond what I’d expected from a drawing tutorial game.
Reviewer’s Note: All hand-drawn artwork pictured below was done by my brother Lester Sanchez.
The game’s menus are fairly easy to navigate without overwhelming beginners, while still appealing to more advanced artists. There are also a few shortcut buttons that players can use as well to perform commands faster.
Lessons mode has three courses: Beginner, Advanced and a Tools Course to learn and make use of the tools given. Each course contains very detailed several tutorials, which is a plus for both beginners and advanced users.
The lessons are pretty in-depth as well as the game completely breaks down each step to give players a better understanding of the visual they have to draw out. Not only that, but they also give some history lessons on various drawing techniques.
Speaking of in-depth, the art tools that the game offers are also pretty extensive. For example, the drawing tools vary in darkness and size, as well as a blending stump and a kneaded eraser.
There are also over 40 color pencils and pastels available to choose from. Not to mention that there are over 20 base colors of paint that can be mixed together.
A nifty bonus tool for social media-minded players integrated into the title is a YouTube feature that allows you to upload your drawing footage straight there.
During my playthrough, my brother also noticed that his drawing tablet pen works very well and is more accurate than the Wii U pen. Unfortunately though, it could leave small scuffs on the GamePad screen so I don’t really recommend it unless you purchase a screen protector.
Now that the positives are out of the way, I’ll detail on a few gripes that I found in the game. First off, you can’t customize the size of the canvas; it’s pretty much the size of the Wii U GamePad screen so it will always be landscape, meaning no portrait layout art can be done.
The game’s loading screens can also be rather annoying after you spend a decent amount of time with the game. The last two issues I ran into were minor but could pose problems for advanced artists who use Art Academy frequently: the undo option can only be used once and the eraser should have a hotkey in this game, but for whatever reason it doesn’t.
Art Academy: Home Studio has its minor flaws, but thankfully this game has enough great qualities that help brush some of those issues over.