Top Art Video Games: Get Creative With These Games


Posted December 2, 2011 - By Brittany Vincent

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Some video games allow us to live out our lofty aspirations of being artistes. You know, the kind who take photos of clouds and rings wedged in the spine of a book so it looks like a heart, then sells glossy prints of it as “photography?” Those artists. Well, maybe not just like that, because that isn't really art at all. It's just annoying. We're talking video games that need a little of your creative prowess to tell a story, create players in said story, or augment gameplay. So we've got five games that rely on your art and your input to make each title the best it can be.

Pac Pix


One of the earliest DS titles around to make full use of the stylus, Pac-Pix capitalized on my ridiculous habit of drawing haphazard Pac-Man heads everywhere and on anything. Test papers, shoes, my clothes, my Mythwear messenger bag...it was quite embarrassing. You were tasked with gobbling up all the ghosts in each puzzling level by drawing your very own Pac-Man, which would travel faster or slower depending on the size you drew. Even the most terrible renditions were viable Pac-clones, so even if you were drunk and struggling to draw even a straight line, your vaguely Pac-Man shape would come to life and set off to demolishing ghosts. It's short and sweet, but hugely satisfying when you see your drawings come to life in a way that wasn't quite possible before the DS, and in such a quirky way. Easily one of the most unique Pac-Man spinoffs and one of the coolest ways to incorporate art.

Mario Paint

Mario Paint

Who hasn't played around with Mario Paint? Better yet, who hasn't trolled YouTube listening to the adorable covers of popular songs? YYZ, anyone? This SNES release encouraged creativity and even offered a simpler way to draw via special SNES Mouse and mouse pad, making Mario Paint the coolest drawing tool this side of Kid Pix. Don't act like you didn't try to get that disc every day in computer lab. Aside from creating awesome looping animations and custom stamps in this full-featured paint program, you could also use the music generator to create extremely impressive compositions to accompany your masterpieces. Go ahead, drag it out of your closet. We aren't gonna judge. Mario Paint has always been serious business.

Drawn To Life

Drawn to Life

Though 5th Cell is now universally known more for the quirky Scribblenauts, their fantastic platforming series Drawn to Life (including the sequel and SpongeBob SquarePants spinoff) is nothing to sneeze at. While it doesn't affect the central narrative revolving around the adorable village of fox-people (the Raposa), you are responsible for designing and coloring the Creator, who watches over the Raposa and ensures they come to no harm. Aside from scribbling a character design and architectures all over town, you'll also color artifacts and other random curiosities throughout each platforming world. It's a charming and unique hidden gem that certainly deserves more credit than it's been given and one that puts your doodles to good use.

Magic Pengel: The Quest For Color

Magic Pengel: The Quest For Color

Following in the vein of Drawn to Life, Magic Pengel: The Quest For Color follows the story of a “Pengel,” or what is essentially a magical doodle that participates in battles in the vein of Pokémon or the superior Digimon (at least in terms of anime). The Pengel's limbs and body structure you sketch out via cursor on-screen determine the creature's stats and magical powers, and they can then be used in battles to earn experience and level up. This colorful adventure for the PlayStation 2 is an interesting look at the interactive art genre and another game to toss on the pile if you're antsy to break out the Crayolas (or Rose Art, if you're scrimping, and we feel for you.)



The gorgeous PlayStation 2/Wii adventure is certainly a memorable one, but it also deftly incorporated the usage of art and “doodles” in its inclusion of brush strokes required in battle and to enact many of Amaterasu's abilities. Whether it's drawing a power slash with a powerful stroke of the brush, changing day to night, or drawing destructive bombs, the paint brush is a core concept of Okami and one that makes it so enjoyable. It's a shame it sold so pitifully. That's on you, loyal Madden and Call of Duty bros.

There you have it – five of what we consider the best games to incorporate your artistic creations. Put on your beret and ready your palette, then come back and let us know which games are your favorites.

Top Art Video Games: Get Creative With These Games


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