Artist Colony [rating: 4.5/5]
Think of The Sims, then think of Picasso, Michelangelo, Emin or Hirst and then mix them all up in a big artistic pot and what you are left with is Artist Colony, a people simulation where your task is to nurture your aspiring artists to successfully run their own artist colony.
Now even I’ll admit that when I first heard that premise I had my doubts, however in actual fact Artist Colony turns out to be an engaging, great looking game whose quirkiness will keep you enthralled for many hours. While the game doesn’t have the depth of a game such as The Sims it has enough to keep the game interesting and enjoyable.
The game starts with two artists, a musician and a painter entering an old artist colony that has fallen into disrepair after one of the studios burnt down with the artist inside while his pregnant wife left. A pretty dark back story to a game that is anything but. Ben and Dylan are the aforementioned artist and musician and there first task is to tidy up the colony to make it presentable to encourage other artists and buyers.
Controlling you characters actions is incredibly simple, simple drag and drop them to where you want them to go or what you want them to do. For example cleaning the place up is as simple as dragging and dropping them to the piles of dirt and rubbish and watch them as they clean. Tasks such as this though don’t make Ben, Dylan or any of the other artist inspired though and so as much as cleaning up the place is important you need to balance it with training them in their particular skill.
As mentioned previously your first two characters are an artist and a musician, however as you spruce up the colony other artists will start to appear and soon you’ll have sculptors, dancers and photographers to work with and inspire too. Inspiration is an important part of any artists life and you can influence this by training the artist in their given skill and also let them hang around pretty things such as flowers and fountains.
All of your artists, for you do manage them all, not just one, can move through 10 levels of artistry. And at each level they can produce one piece of art that they can then sell. The more inspired they are the better the artwork and the more money they will get sold for. Moving your artist through there skill levels is as simple as taking them to their studio for them to practice and the environment includes a paint studio, music studio, a place to create sculptures and a dance studio to name just a few of the locations your characters can frequent.
Moving your characters around the environment is part of the drag and drop functionality, as you move hear the edge of the screens the map will move allowing you to access the whole map. The environment isn’t huge but it’s beautifully constructed and looks great, which I guess it would have to as the game is all about artists after all.
The menu’s and options look great too and they are easy to navigate. You can see all of your tasks and objectives at the touch of a button as well as each characters stats making it easy to make decisions on what their next activity should be. You can also post your artists creative endeavors to your Facebook page too show off how creative your little people, of which there a 15 in total, can be.
And what people sim would be complete without an element of love thrown in? Well Artist Colony is no different and as the female artist arrive you can start trying to influence their romantic relationships because as everyone knows love can be very inspirational.
If I’m being harsh I could say that only being able to play one game at a time could be frustrating as it means only one person can play at a time and having some control of the creative output of your artists would be nice too, but really these are small things.
I had my doubts when I first started playing Artist Colony but after just a few minutes I was intrigued and after just a little while longer I was hooked, whether you feel creative or not Artist Colony will get your creativity flowing.
- Look Great
- Plays Perfectly
- Unique Twist on the People Sim
The Not So Good:
- Don’t like artists, look elsewhere!
- Only one game at a time.
Reviewed By: Craig Willis
Artist Colony (PC Version)