Passpartout: The Starving Artist Review

Passpartout: The Starving Artist Review


I don’t think of myself as a creative person. Although that goes directly against me recording
this review right? On some level I have to be creative to write
an interesting review of a game then edit the video together, hopefully it comes out
to my vision. I still feel incredibly odd playing Passpartout
because I need to be creative and paint. Well not only paint but then be judged by
people that come through my shop and hate the art. Passpartout’s art judgement system is wonderful. Start with a blank canvas and after your done
with it hopefully someone will think it’s art and buy it. There are different styles of paintings that
sell better to different crowds. It is actually based on the type of painting,
which makes it very interesting. I can’t imagine it’s analyzing the painting
for shapes but who knows. What it does know is how long you take to
create the painting and your brush strokes. Do you try and please people to sell the art
or make the art you want to make? My most popular paintings for some time involved
pizza. I consider myself an expert in pizza paintings
and my collection of thirty different pizza slices has rocked the art world. Anyway, you do have expenses so you definitely
need to sell some paintings. You will lose if you run out of money although
I never found it that difficult to make something that sells. In fact I would go so far to say that it’s
very easy not to lose. The game gives you every opportunity to sell
paintings. The first stage you can pretty much shit out
anything and it will sell. The audience you can sell to is very large
and enjoys almost anything. On act two there will still be some customers
that will buy almost anything. However there are some customers that want
a particular style. The game encourages you to sell to a specific
crowd. Only the third act really steps it up in terms
of painting to a particular style. By then, hopefully, you know which paintings
are really desirable. The customers definitely get harder to please
and even paintings that I thought were perfect they were not a fan of. So it’s not impossible to imagine running
out of money later in the game. There is a strange haggling mechanic and I
just don’t understand the point. Most of the time they will pay more but sometimes
it will go down. If it’s too low just don’t sell the painting
and someone else will come along. It’s just a little out of place because
most of the time artists set their own price. Then the customer haggles them down. No comment on that practice but in the game
it’s a little weird that the customer offers the price and you haggle with them to increase
it. I suppose setting your own prices would have
complicated the game. I’m glad they kept it simple but I think
haggling could have been eliminated completely. It might be making a statement about how art
is worth more to different people or I might be looking too much into it. Part of this game is the emotion of getting
a nice painting done and everyone that looks at it calls it garbage. It’s a little rough hearing their reviews. Yet here I am making a review of this game. I realize that’s pretty silly. You want to please your customers though and
you want to have enough money to eat. I ended up taking some of the paintings very
serious in hopes that I could progress through the game. I feel like that’s when the game tears you
down, when those paintings don’t sell. The actual painting is fun and simple. Which is important since that’s all you’ll
be doing. There are eventually three different ways
to apply paint to the canvas. The starter brush, spray paint, and a pen
tool. Each is useful in their own way but I used
the simple brush the most. The spray can is as you would assume if you’ve
ever used Microsoft paint. While the pen tool is used to create smooth
lines. It has the largest learning curve and I don’t
see the point in using it at my skill level. While there’s enough here to paint anything
you want I wish there were more tools and colors. Be aware that you’re probably going to be
painting with a mouse, like I did. It’s not precise and I have no idea how
they got some of the artwork in the screenshots. I have to assume they were using a different
input device. I’m sure some people can do amazing work
with a mouse but it’s not easy and I’m terrible. Luckily, I don’t think the way your customers
judge your paintings has any relation to skill. That’s the part of the game that might bother
people. You spend a lot of time creating art and it
could look amazing but it doesn’t fit into the game. Even if you have real skill it could be undesirable. If you take the game too seriously it’s
not going to be fun. Same with the input too. As I said you’re probably not going to be
able to create anything with perfect lines using a mouse. Just like real painting there is no undo feature. I think it could be frustrating for someone
who is used to photoshop. Passpartout also has a cute setting inside
a living puppet theater. That’s why the characters look a little
off but it suits the game so well. Just adds another unique layer on top. Also for some reason there are ghosts that
come visit your gallery. If you sell a painting to them they give you
a hat. It’s very odd. Then when you restart you can wear the hat. I wanted to mention the ending so if you want
to play this game and experience it skip to the time shown on the screen now. You’ve been warned 3, 2, 1. The ending of Passpartout is so strange. Eventually you’ve sold enough paintings
that you’re famous and your paintings sell for ludicrous amounts of money. Well I sold just one or two and the game just
ended and showed fifty years later I’m dead. However your paintings still live on in a
gallery, even some of your earlier works are hanging on the wall. Just like real life you got lucky and now
you’re famous. It’s kind of abrupt after grinding so hard
to get the paintings sold then the game is over. I wonder with this type of game what else
could they have done. Because of this ending though I wasn’t satisfied
from all the time I put into the game. I look back now and as much as I enjoyed the
game sometimes it felt like a slog, something a lot of people can overlook for a good ending,
which wasn’t there. It’s nice they pull up your older paintings
on the wall so you can see how far your style has changed, I definitely got better. It’s a minimal ending that I think was a
missed opportunity to add some story. I also think no ending would have worked because
there is no ending to an art career, just keep painting. Overall Passpartout is fun if you can get
past a blank canvas and try to create your masterpiece. I really enjoyed how smart the game is about
judging your paintings. There are also several different paths to
beat the game which correlate to different art styles. It could be fun to play again trying to paint
a different style than my first time through but I don’t think I will. I really enjoyed how unique Passpartout is
and how much creativity I felt when playing. It’s a pure art experience that differentiates
itself from all the other indie games. There is some pressure to sell the paintings
but it’s all about being creative and making art. I think you’ll love it too, no drawing skills
required.

2 Replies to “Passpartout: The Starving Artist Review

  1. I got this for the switch, but it's just too frustrating to try and draw something decent.
    They could have optimized this game for a stylus.
    A simple undo button, and a choice of which side the canvas is on would have made it way more playable.
    I hope they make another one but focus more on the tools available to create with. Make a robust painting or drawing app with a game built around it.

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