Parents' Guide to

Art Academy

By Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Thorough, fun lessons will genuinely help your art.

Art Academy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

If you are a die-hard gamer, this is NOT for you!!!

I bought this game recently for a long car trip, and I, as a 14-year-old that it is EPIC (in my own way)!!! I still play on the Metallic Rose-colored Nintendo DS Lite that my mom bought for me at the local Walmart the day after I got out of the sixth grade, so I don't have the ability of the camera that is included in the DSi/XL/3DS, but it's not the end of the world. (I honestly don't care). I like the fact that you can use the free paint and create whatever you feel like, but the only disadvantage is that once you switch from pencil to paints, you CANNOT switch back to pencil (which is a piece of advice for people who are complaining that they can't swich back to pencil once they go to paint without starting over or saving the current painting. But, I've done the same thing in art class). And, this would make an excelent Wii game. MY FAVORITE!!!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

fabulous for learning to draw and paint

My 10 year old loves playing this game and has picked up many great tips she now uses in her own art.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (2):

What makes Art Academy such a wonderfully helpful tool is the way it not only tells you what to do, but shows you. After Vince explains how to use intersecting lines to create cross-hatch shading, you get to watch -- in close-up -- exactly how his brush or pencil moves to create those intersecting lines. The game might not be able to make you a great artist, but if you truly pay attention and follow these lessons, you can't help but learn a few things along the way. The tools all work wonderfully, and in very realistic manners. You can choose from multiple different brushes and pencils and even choose to hold a pencil at different angles. The amount of paint coming off a brush will decrease until you "re-dip" and start a new stroke. The DS screen makes for a very tiny canvas, but Art Academy doesn't intend for you to work only in this virtual format -- the game actually tells you to take what you've learned and use it in real life.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology, Creativity: combining knowledge, imagination, making new creations, Self-Direction: effort, self-assessment, self-reflection
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 25, 2010
  • Genre: Art
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
  • Last updated: August 30, 2016

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate