Imagine Artist

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Imagine Artist Game Poster Image
Excellent art sim lets players' creative sides flourish.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to paint, draw, and make other artistic creations in this compelling art instruction game. Players learn how to use different implements -- brushes, pencils, etc. -- to make different kinds of markings as well as when to use them. These skills are based on actual art techniques and can be easily transferred to the real world. New lessons unlock every day over several weeks, and players are able to share their favorite works with friends online or through email. Imagine Artist teaches kids about the life of an artist by offering them sequential art lessons and the opportunity for digital creation.

Positive Messages

This game aims to teach children the basics of a variety of visual art forms, from drawing and painting to crafting and collage.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players take on the role of an aspiring artist who works under a patient and helpful mentor at a local art studio. Both serve as fine role models for young girls—boys, too, should any happen to give the game a whirl.

Ease of Play

It’s very easy to learn the ropes. Each day players are provided new lessons, and virtually all of the controls revolve around the touch screen and stylus. Plus, it’s art, so there’s not really any failing involved. Even in the skill-building mini-games players don’t lose, but instead simply earn bronze and silver medals. So long as the player can read, it should be very easy to get into the swing of things.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

This game is part of Ubisoft’s expanding line of Imagine games for girls.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Imagine Artist is a very creative and educational game geared for girls. Players learn how to draw, paint, craft, and create other works of art while engaging in skill-building mini-games, such as tracing and color-mixing challenges. And the game’s primary characters -- including an interning art student, the owner of a local studio, a museum curator, and a gallery owner, are all excellent role models. They’ve all got good hearts and are interested in helping the player.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2, 6, and 9 year old Written bymygrlzandboy January 2, 2010

9 year old loves it, needs a little help with some of the reading

My 9 year old loves it. She needs a little help with reading some of it. She is learning some new vocabulary words, though!
Adult Written bynduns January 2, 2010

I just have to write this to tell you how bad these games are

Seriously, the Imagine games are disturbing. They're insulting to people's intellect and they're just plain creepy. They seem to appeal to youn... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 14, 2013

BORING

ehhh its boring to me.....i dont know if it is because im 12 but its SUPER boring....
Kid, 10 years old January 20, 2013

Imagine: This game is Awesome!

I love Imagine Artist! My mom got it for me one Christmas and I have finished it multiple times. Its easy to play and teaches you alot about art. The skills it... Continue reading

What's it about?

IMAGINE ARTIST puts players in the shoes of a fledgling visual artist working under the guidance of a woman who owns a small art studio. Kids begin by learning how to trace pictures before graduating to painting, stenciling, and crafting, among other lessons. The game progresses through a six week calendar with each day offering players new lessons and challenges, such as working on commissions for clients. Most days culminate with a finished work of art, which players can save and upload to a website, as well as a skill-building minigame or two, such as one that has players tracing objects and another that involves recognizing the specific colors that need to be mixed to create others. As the game progresses players earn more paints and brush tips and the ability to create original works. They can even take pictures using the DSi camera and use them in their art (assuming they have the DSi version of Nintendo’s handheld).

Is it any good?

Ubisoft has released plenty of good games in its Imagine series, but Imagine Artist might be the best yet. It’s a wonderfully powerful and comprehensive art simulator. The tools you've been provided -- stencils, pencils, brushes, and more -- are useful and simple to learn. It won’t let budding artists create a perfect replica of the Mona Lisa, but players can still create beautiful and original pictures. And it’s surprisingly educational; most young players will likely come away with a much better idea how to go about drawing and painting a variety of subjects, if not through theory then via repetition.

If there is any issue with the game it’s that it was created with an aim to attract girls. A couple of simple tweaks -- such as the ability to choose the gender of the player’s character -- and it could have been a great unisex game. Even as is, we have little difficulty recommending Imagine Artist to any girl or boy with a passion for the visual arts.

Online interaction: Players can upload art to their own online galleries. They can share the gallery's URL with friends or email individual pictures.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sort of art the game lets players create. Were you provided enough pen and brush tips to make the sort of markings you wanted? Were you proud of your works? Proud enough to share them with friends? Did you prefer creating original pieces over working on the subjects the game provides?

  • Families can also discuss whether they think they learned anything about art while playing. Would an art student get less out of it than someone who has never taken an art class before? Do you feel you’re a better artist for having played?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting, sculpture
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation
    Self-Direction: effort, self-reflection
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: November 17, 2009
  • Genre: Girl
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)

For kids who love girl games

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