Title : Art Alive
Publisher : Sega / Tec Toy
Genre : Art / Educational
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1991
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$10
Do you remember how awesome Mario Paint was? The sheer interaction you had with a painting program, allowing you to animate your own drawings and color in illustrations was top notch for a 16-bit console. Not to mention the ability to create your own stylized chip tunes songs with the Mario Paint composer. Cats, and boats, and mushrooms making music? Yes, please. OH, OH! And the Fly Swatter game...man, those were the days.
Oh, I'm sorry. I'm supposed to be talking about Art Alive. Um..........yeah.......well.
First off, let me give Sega props, for coming out with this type of game first. But let me also just say, Sega? When you're making a painting game for a console, you've gotta at least try to make it a bit more interesting than MS PAINT with a few stamp tools.
I know it's unfair to compare this game to Mario Paint, but the thing is, Mario Paint was such an absolute classic. This one, not so much. It was obviously an experimental game, and meant for a younger audience to touch on their creative side, but it was just way too simplistic in nature.
Regardless, let's see what it has to offer.
Alright, so right off the bat...the game doesn't offer much. If you have a paint program on your PC, it's pretty much the exact same thing. There's no other form of artwork creation here. It's drawing and coloring. That's it.
Once you get past the intro screen, you're thrown right into a blank canvas with all your tools at the top of the screen. You'll recognize some of them if you used paint programs before. The pencil / pen tool, the paint bucket tool, the spray can, the eraser, the line, the scissors. You've also got your available color palettes as well as some patterns to choose from. I do find it funny though that music only plays when you start using certain tools. Closest thing you'll get to a composer function, ha.
Thinking about it now, this is more like an ages 3+ version of photoshop. That's not a bad thing, and I really can't knock this game for just trying to be a paint program, because it works at that. It's just for me, I'm always looking for more, and like I said I was extremely spoiled by Mario Paint.
If you are really horrible at drawing, you can always take some of the pre-made stamps of Sega characters and throw them onto a background, or color them in. Or, if you feel like challenging yourself, there is a shoddy version of an animation program to go along with the painting, but it's really not user friendly at all.
Speaking of user friendly, don't even get me started on controls. I can't even fathom creating works of art without using a mouse or a wacom tablet, so using a genesis controller to paint is almost impossible. I'd love to see if anyone has ever created something EPIC with this program, and if you did, props to you.
After all is said and done, there's not much else to do with this game. It's a time killer, and nothing more than that. But without anything else to offer besides simple painting, the game fades into existence.
I know, I know..I'm not giving this game much justice. It's more of an educational game, so if you leave it at that I'll give it a nod. It gains an extra sonic coin, just for trying to tap into a kids creative senses.
Still...come on, Mario Paint is soooo much better.