New Art Academy
| New Art Academy

Nintendo's Touch Generations games have your best interests at heart, but they can send you on some depressing guilt trips if you don't keep them up.

It's been a good three years since my last brain-training routine, and I can only imagine what Dr Kawashima's polygonal visage will look like when I boot the game up again. My Nintendogs + Cats cart, meanwhile, is now a pet cemetery.

New Art Academy is less demanding. My arty tutor Vincent is far more understanding about my busy schedule, and his sleepy mutt Bacon isn't constantly nagging me for walks.

Draw the line

Anyone who's dabbled in Art Academy's humble DSiWare beginnings will find that this 3DS outing is similar to the fully-fledged version released on DS.

Beginner lessons are in place to teach you the basics, from laying the foundations of an object to shading and colour tones, while advanced lessons focus on much bigger pieces of art to replicate.

It's a slight drag that you have to progress through them one by one, but at least Art Academy graduates can hop straight into the advanced classes. Those who do complete all 32 lessons will be able to seek further mentoring through paid downloadable content or user-generated classes shared among friends.

Free Paint mode is exactly what it sounds like, allowing you the freedom to doodle to your heart's content using templates provided by Vince or photos saved to your SD card.

Art attack

It's easy to turn your nose up at the idea of painting pictures of cherries, but there's no denying that Art Academy boasts an extensive toolset.

You use the stylus as your desired art tool, while pressing X present you with an overwhelming selection of pencils, paints, brushes, coloured pencils, and more to fine-tune your work. You can also set up a grid to focus on an image piece-by-piece and zoom-in for added detail (something that's less of necessary if you're playing on a 3DS XL).

Couple this with Nintendo's deft presentation and New Art Academy shines brighter than other Touch Generations titles, managing to be both relaxing and challenging in equal measure.

New Art Academy

A handful of new features, lessons, and a robust tool kit makes New Art Academy essential for anyone looking to further their drawing skills beyond doodling on Post-its
Tom Worthington
Tom Worthington
Fresh out of the packaging, Tom joins Pocket Gamer with a chip on his shoulder and a degree in Journalism. Naively, Tom believes there's a star-studded career in video games and has penned words across the internet in between praying to the almighty Nintendo gods.