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Get Children Painting

Video games often create spaces like beautiful paintings. Designers and artists spend years crafting worlds that invite us to interact with realistic or stylised brushstrokes. The games in this list let the play take part in that painting process.

Some of the games here, like Okami or Concrete Genie, use painting as a way to solve puzzles to progress through the game. Other games in the list, like Splatoon, De Blob or Chicory, use painting as a way interact with the game world itself. Then there are games like The Unfinished Swan, that use painting as a way of revealing what is in front of you, giving the impression of limit faculties. Finally, there are games like Ete or Dordogne, that use painting in the game to express emotion.

Unlike the world of real painting, in video games anyone can create a masterpiece. The game Sloppy Forgeries, uses this idea as its main mechanic. You are presented with a classic painting and given a limited time to race other players to recreate it. In amongst the frantic silliness is something lovely. The usual barriers to creativity fall, as we all get stuck in and have a go. Another notable game is If Found where you are erasing your drawings and paintings in a powerful way that aligns with a narrative of rediscovered identity.

This list includes 40 games from the last 16 years, with 545 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to paint your game world.


 

The Unfinished Swan

Release Date: 16/10/2012

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3 and PS4

The Unfinished Swan invites you to explore a world by splashing paint on it. The tactile experience leads you into a fairy tale about an unfinished painting that leads a child back to his parent.

Flower

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Control the breeze blowing across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle to control the breeze soon turns into a...

Tearaway

Release Date: 22/11/2013, updated in 2015

Platforms: PS Vita and PS4

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Tearaway on PlayStation Vita and Tearaway Unfolded on PlayStation 4 create a game world entirely from paper as the setting for this fantastical adventure. It’s beautiful and funny, and offers a running, jumping exploration challenge. Drawing on...

Concrete Genie

Release Date: 20/08/2019

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Concrete Genie is a running and jumping game about a young boy, who is isolated and bullied, in this exploration platform game with a twist. Using motion controls and buttons you can draw beautiful graffiti on the buildings, which come to life. These...

Splatoon 3 (Series)

Release Date: 21/07/2017, updated in 2022

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Splatoon on the Wii U, Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 on the Switch are games where you shoot ink rather than bullets in this deeply skilled combat game. As well as taking out opponents, teams work together to cover the arena with their colour of ink. This...

Gris

Release Date: 06/10/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Gris is a platform game where you guide a young girl through a crumbling world. Through beautiful metaphoric landscapes and soaring music, the game touches on emotions of loss and longing but doesn’t resolve to a firm narrative. Although not hugely...

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Release Date: 10/06/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an adventure where you play an everyday dog thrust into the role of wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white and you paint to solve puzzles, help your animal friends and restore colour. It looks like a...

Scribble It

Release Date: 20/10/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Scribble It is a digital take on the classic board game Pictionary. You take turns drawing a word as the other players try to be the first one to guess it. The benefit is that you don't have to be in the same place to play. Also, there's the added...

Empty

Release Date: 25/09/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Empty is a minimalist puzzle game that teaches the value of simplicity in life. You rotate and interact with different vignettes to line up items with the same background colour. As you do this they disappear and the scene slowly empties.

Dordogne

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Dordogne is a narrative adventure where you play as Mimi, a 32-year-old woman who returns to the house of her recently deceased grandmother. You explore the house and area to find letters and puzzles that bring back memories of the past.

Okami

Release Date: 20/04/2006, updated in 2017

Platforms: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Okami (Okamiden on Nintendo DS) is an unusual action-adventure. Combat is via interactions that are achieved with brush strokes rather than weapons. It has a unique visual style that invites you to inhabit its painted world with brushstrokes of your...

My Friend Peppa Pig

Release Date: 22/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

My Friend Peppa Pig is a narrative role-play game. It recreates the TV show Peppa Pig and features a few of the voice actors from the programme. Unlike the show, you are in the cartoon, controlling a character you create. You play with Peppa and her...

That's You!

Release Date: 04/07/2017

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

That's You! is a family quiz game played on the PlayStation using Android or iOS phones/tablets as controllers. The game displays a challenge on the main TV screen that each player tries to complete on the device in their hand.

Eastshade

Release Date: 14/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Eastshade is a slow exploration game in a world you explore by walking around. Here, though, you play as a painter of landscapes rather than typical hero. Your mission is to paint your deceased mother’s favourite sights, but it's the world and its...

If Found

Release Date: 19/05/2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

If Found is an interactive narrative game about searching for connection. You touch the screen to rub out and erase text and drawings. Set on December 31st 1993 in the crumbling ruins of a mansion on Achill Island, you play Kasio as she destroys her diary.

Dreams (Dreams)

Release Date: 14/10/2019

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Anyone can learn how to create their own video games, music, animations and art in Dreams. Everything is controlled with accessible menus and interactions via the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 controller. This makes it easy to dive in and create...

Behind the Frame

Release Date: 25/08/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Behind the Frame is a narrative adventure where you click and interact with different scenes to help a young woman become an artist. You explore the different locations to uncover and work on the different paintings. It's a combination of escape room...

Ete

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Ete (été, which means summer) is a gentle adventure where you discover memories by exploring with your camera, music and paint. The screen starts almost entirely blank, and as you move around and interact you create vivid colourful memories.

Ink

Release Date: 05/08/2015

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Ink is a running (sliding) and jumping game where you see the platforms you are jumping on by splashing them with ink. You control a little white square that, along with splashing colour everywhere, can jump on enemies and climb walls.

Colour With Crayons (Dreams)

Release Date: 27/07/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Colour with Crayons is a running and jumping game. You are a crayon in a world made from art supplies. Find the required number of transparent boxes and colour them in to progress. It's an unusual premise extended by the optional hunt for cones to...

Please, Touch The Artwork

Release Date: 26/01/2022

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Please, Touch The Artwork is a puzzle game that tells a story with real abstract paintings. Unconventionally it asks, what would happen if we did touch the artwork in museums? The answer is revealed over three stories each focusing on a different...

Draw a Stickman: Epic 3 (Series)

Release Date: 03/12/2013, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Draw a Stickman: Epic 3 s Epic 3 is the latest game in the series, and you are on a mission to save your friends who have been scattered throughout the world by an earthquake. Work out the puzzles so you can progress through the game.

The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature

Release Date: 30/10/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

The Wander is an adventure game that offers a fresh (and remarkably faithful) look at the myth of Frankenstein. As you move through the hand-painted world you piece together who you are and where you came from. You choose not only where to go, but how...

Tint

Release Date: 13/09/2019

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Tint is a puzzle game you solve by painting. You mix watercolours to match the colour of the origami. The aesthetic and the low-pressure puzzles make for a soothing experience. There are no timers, no countdowns, no points and certainly no rush,...

Art Academy

Release Date: 25/12/2009, updated in 2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS and Wii U

Art Academy is a creative painting game for Nintendo systems, that leads children through step-by-step art lessons. An in-game tutor teaches you to develop basic art skills and techniques. Along with the lessons, there's a free paint mode with all the...

Colors!

Release Date: 05/04/2012, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PS Vita, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Colors! is a painting game for handheld gaming devices. It introduces concepts of creating digital art in an easy and accessible way. You take on challenges to draw pictures and can share them with others online. You can also play back your drawings to...

Khan Academy Kids

Release Date: 12/08/2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Khan Academy Kids is a free series of game activities staring bright animal characters. Matching animals and photos, solving maths, social scenarios or enjoying some art time, Khan Academy Kids provides a playful framework.

Moonbreaker

Release Date: 29/09/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Pieces: Figures

Moonbreaker is a strategy game that plays like a physical tabletop game. Using hand-painted figures you fight opponents in tactical turn-based battles in a new universe created by bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. It has the detailed painting,...

Sloppy Forgeries

Release Date: 26/04/2018

Platforms: PC

Sloppy Forgeries is a painting game where you race an opponent at copying a famous art piece as quickly and accurately as possible. You win by having the largest percentage of paint in the correct areas. The game randomly selects a painting to copy and...

Inks

Release Date: 04/05/2016, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Inks is a messy pinball game that combines puzzle with platforming. It's like a traditional game of pinball, however you are aiming to splash the ball through each coloured area rather than rack up high scores.

Weaving Tides

Release Date: 27/05/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Weaving Tides is a puzzle game set in a magical woven world. You ride a carpet dragon that both transports you and weaves fabric into the world to help you advance.

Nour: Play With Your Food

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS5

Nour: Play With Your Food is an experimental music game where you create different dishes and plates of food. Unusually, the focus is on sound rather than just visuals. As you add ingredients and food elements they each add sounds.

Ten People Ten Colors

Release Date: 09/09/2019

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Ten People Ten Colors is a puzzle game where you help walking figures get to the exit. It's unusual because you can only control the level's background colour. Using the colour wheel you can match the background to foreground elements, which makes them...

De Blob 2 (Series)

Release Date: 26/09/2008, updated in 2011

Platforms: DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

De Blob is a platform-puzzle game where you explore cartoon-style urban landscapes to recolour the city. You play a sponge-like creature that can collect coloured paint and take it to different locations to turn the buildings and landscape features to...

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved

Release Date: 15/10/2014

Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Fantasia is an Xbox Kinect camera dancing game using your whole body. Its narrative follows Disney’s Fantasia film as you take a musical journey to earn your sorcerer’s hat. Sweeping your arms to trigger the orchestra, pointing out high notes with...

Child of Eden

Release Date: 17/06/2011, updated in 2011

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Child of Eden is a dance and motion game that uses the Xbox Kinect camera. You use your body to shoot and move. Rather than fruit, however, here it’s beautiful firework-style visuals and music that are the challenge.

Boo!

Release Date: 23/10/2017

Platforms: Android, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Boo! is a Halloween-themed puzzle game where you decorate pumpkins using cauldrons of coloured paint. The twist is that to create each design, you need to cover up different parts of the pumpkin using an assortment of items. The challenge is to apply...

Different Strokes

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Different Strokes is a drawing game where you collaborate to make and rate each other's art. You play by exploring the gallery and then adding to the art. The novelty is not only being able to collaborate on art, but seeing what the community does with...

Draw! (Dreams)

Release Date: 09/03/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Draw! is a puzzle game where you draw your own platforms in order to get a stick figure to run and jump through the level to an exit. It is designed to look like drawings on a notepad with you as the artist.

Inked

Release Date: 26/04/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Inked is a puzzle game where you play a sketched hero venturing into the world of ink and paper, from the perspective of the artist who drew you. With simple controls, you traverse platforms and ramps and solve a range of hand-drawn puzzles with...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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