Passpartout: The Starving Artist is a fun indie game featuring painting and the rise of a previously unknown artist.
Genre: Casual, Art, Simulation
Developer: Flamebait Games
Publisher: Flamebait Games
Release date: 6 Jun, 2017
What is happening in the game?
The main character of this game is Passpartout, an artist who creates paintings in his simple studio in a poor part of the town. Your goal is to create paintings which are going to impress your fans and interested buyers. You need to make sure you have enough money when the bills are inbound. Once a chapter, your studio gets visited by an art critic and you get a chance to move to a better studio.
- Graphics | The game is quite pretty, I really like the different characters which also behave the way they look (for example, you have hipsters who don’t pay you a lot, but they also buy weirder paintings). The animations are also interesting. Passpartout moves his hand accordingly when you move your brush across the canvas.
- Gameplay | I really like the idea of painting in the game, probably because I suck at this in real life. Anyway, the game gives you three different tools to use – brush, spray and “guided” brush, which makes drawing curved lines much easier. After you finish the painting, you can put it on display and wait for a customer. When he offers you his price (if he does), you can either negotiate, accept or decline. After your studio gets visited by a critic, you progress to the next chapter.
- Endings | Depending on what kind of paintings you make, you may get to experience different endings. This adds a great deal of replayability as the endings are, as I understand, quite different from each other.
- Soundtrack | The gameplay is accompanied by a nice soundtrack. It’s quite relaxing and it makes painting a much more pleasurable experience.
- Achievements | You can achieve 25 achievements while playing this game. They are quite fun as they require you to paint in a different kind of way (for one of them, you have to use all of the available colours).
- No Cloud Saving | Sadly, your progress isn’t transferred to other computers using Steam Cloud. Due to long chapters (more on this topic below), this can be quite a headache.
- Quality Detection Algorithms | I’m not a great artist, but sometimes I somehow managed to make a painting I wouldn’t even mind having on one of the walls in my house. But, because I didn’t spend a lot of time painting or because I used somewhat unusual colours, every single one of the visitors disliked the painting. I also noticed that the longer you paint, even if you don’t really use your brush that much, the higher the price your painting will sell for. I also noticed some other flaws but I don’t want to get into details here.
- Long Chapters | There are three chapters in total, but they are unbelievably long. When I first started the game, I was playing for about 45 minutes, unsure of what to do next or if there even is something else to do. Luckily, the game told me that an art critic will “soon” pay me a visit, which happened more than five minutes later. Although I had fun playing this game, it may get a tiny bit repetitive after you’re an hour into the chapter.
- Lack of Tools | Although you already have 3 tools available, I would be very happy to see some additional ones to choose from. I especially missed rectangular shapes from the tools collection as it’s not always easy to paint everything you want with a round tool. I was also disappointed how inaccurate the resizing of the tools is. If you drag one of the tools across the canvas while resizing it at the same time, you can clearly see the changes in the tool size on the drawn line. The resizing should be programmed to be more gradual.
The final verdict
Passpartout: The Starving Artist is a unique game which offers a lot of enjoyable content, yet suffers from some flaws that might induce boredom for some people. Although the game sure is fun at the beginning of each chapter, it does get slightly tedious after a while.
The graphics aren’t anything special, but they do the trick. The soundtrack is quite interesting and catchy, which delays the boredom a tiny bit.
I also wanted to mention the news headlines which pop up every once in a while, those can be quite hilarious and entertaining.
I do recommend this game, especially if you’re into painting. If you’re unsure, you should probably wait for a discount before purchasing.