What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Artist Colony is an enjoyable and pleasantly different simulation game which contains some very adult themes, including alcoholism and sexual affairs. The general gameplay -- which involves cleaning and restoring an old art colony, while training artists and having them create new works -- would be fine for kids otherwise, but those soap operatic plotlines need to be taken into consideration.
What's it about?
Two half-brothers with dysfunctional family ties inherit a rundown art colony, which they plan to renovate in order to attract a new generation of artists. In the game, ART COLONY, players control the brothers and every new artist who comes to live at the colony, making them eat, sleep, clean up, train, create art, and possibly even fall in love. Every piece of artwork that is sold adds more money to the colony's pot, which can go towards further renovation in hopes of attracting more artists. An overarching plot, in which the brothers uncover the hidden history of the art colony, ties it all together.
Is it any good?
Art Colony plays in a very similar way to The Sims, but in this simulation all of the characters are artists (painters, singers, sculptors, dancers, photographers, etc.) and that aspect adds a surprisingly fun twist. Having the specific directive of making sure those characters stay inspired enough to create art feels like a very fresh and different goal for a video game, and it is genuinely fun to see what the works will look like once created -- and how an artist's work will improve with training. There are times when the actions can feel repetitive (especially because yardwork is a constant need in order to keep the colony looking pretty), but that true of most sim-style games. The sometimes sordid subplots, which unfortunately add a level of inappropriateness for younger players, also add some necessary drama to the story.
Families can talk about...
In the game, the artists can be inspired by nature, a loved one, or by another's work of art. Families can talk about what inspires them.
Families can also discuss the importance of art in general. Art colonies exist in the real world -- why would someone devote their time and energy to such a place in real life?