Art Sim – Flamebait Games – February 2016
In a dim Parisian alleyway, out of a cramped garage, an artist is born. Surviving off of wine and baguettes you journey to make your mark on canvas and culture.
In Passpartout: The Starving Artist you begin your journey at the bottom, an unrecognized and ill respected artist destined for greatness. In game the player uses MS-Paint style tools and colors to render their visions onto canvas to be sold to shoppers perusing your wares each with their own personality and taste. As you continue to paint and begin to grow your portfolio and wallet you progress through the chapters to upgrade your studio and gain exposure to many different types of customers.
The gameplay in Passpartout is simple and straightforward. The painting tools and controls are familiar to anyone who has ever tried to use a desktop paint program and as you progress you begin to unlock more tools and brushes to create a wider variety in your paintings. That being said I did find the tools a little bit simplistic. For example there is no option for opacity in your brushstrokes let alone any Photoshop style layering which, admittedly, is a little ambitious for a casual style game and may betray the overall light hearted style of the game. Although inspiration can be hard to find I thought it lent well to the idea of a starving artist trying to create works quickly that still satisfy your viewers and manage to make a few bucks along the way. Boasting multiple endings replay value seems to be pretty high, if you can keep the inspiration flowing.
The atmosphere in the game is as relaxing as you would hope for in a casual game featuring a soundtrack with calming piano tracks as well as light city background noise. The set pieces are pretty as well portraying a picture box style of ascetic with, in some cases, corrugated cardboard edges and cartoonish caricatures of stereotypical “art people”.
All in all I really enjoy playing Passpartout and found it to be a great break from the typical run and gun shooter or high steaks strategy game. I recommend this title if you are looking to take a break from daily stresses or wish to express a little creativity. Passpartout: The Starving Artist is available on Steam for $9.99, a fair price for an enjoyable experience.