Symphony Painter

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Symphony Painter Game Poster Image
Compose music by drawing!

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this toy creates wonder. Kids compose their own music simply by drawing pictures.

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What's it about?

SYMPHONY PAINTER, an add-on software cartridge for the Color Pixter, is the rare kind of toy that creates wonder. Color Pixter is a digital drawing toy containing a small computer, with a stylus and a touch-sensitive color LCD screen. With Symphony Painter kids can compose music by simply drawing on the Pixter with the stylus. The software has been programmed to play certain melodies, chords, and other sounds that correspond to colors, lines, and stamps placed on the screen.

For example, if a child writes her name in green, and then underlines her name with a red line, when she pushes the \"play\" button, she can hear a musical composition created by the drawing of her name. But there is more to it than that: Kids can compose sound bites and assign them to certain drawing colors. Children can also control the pitch by placing their artwork higher or lower on the screen, and tempo is controlled by a slide bar. The software also offers a musical memory game and pre-recorded songs that can be edited by drawing.

Is it any good?

Symphony Painter evolved out of Fisher-Price's collaboration with the Toy Symphony project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab. The drawing-to-create-music effect is magical. While the toy can be played by kids as young as 5 years old, its sophistication will be most appreciated by older children -- even siblings as old as 15 found this toy to be a marvel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pairing images with music. How does the music reflect the style of your drawing?

Game details

  • Platforms: Color Pixter
  • Price: $20
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Fisher-Price
  • Release date: January 9, 2005
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: NR
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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