Genre: Educational Developer: Western Technologies Publisher: Sega Enterprises Players: 1 Released: 1991
Not every cart made for the Genesis was a game. For instance, today’s subject: Art Alive!. An art program early in the system’s life and one of the last before Sonic arrived and changed the face of not only Sega games, but gaming in general. Had Sonic come out in say, 1990, Art Alive! may never have been made. Still, Sega wanted to broaden its horizons, and make a nice little game for kids.
The game starts off with a movie of the title screen being drawn and painted on along with the theme song, which plays whenever you paint anything in the game. There’s obviously no plot and no real introduction. You just start out with a blank screen and a menu of various options to paint your “canvas.” Figuring what some of these things actually do can be somewhat annoying in the beginning but once you figure them out, the rest is a relatively simple task.
As it should be with an ART program, the graphics are fine. Along with basic shapes and items (balloons, stars, happy face, etc) you get Sonic and ToeJam and Earl, along with TJ&E’s space ship. The colors are nice and plentiful. Don’t see what you want? Just do a quick palette change and it should pop right up. You’ve got letters too, so you can label your work. The aforementioned shapes come in “stamps,” where you can place a still shot or a walking animation on your picture. You can even create a stamp of your own. The game also provides you with some basic backgrounds to start you off.
Sound is placed where it’s needed and not really much else. Whenever you paint a section of a picture, the theme song plays until the paint stops. You can use this to make little ditties, depending on the size of the spot being painted. If you can find the right spot, the first 4 notes from The Addams Family can be heard (c’mon, I’m really digging here!). Not all are beneficial, though. For example, various shape placers make a “twangy” sound when use that can sometimes make you want to smash whatever’s closest to you.
Well, that’s all you can really say. Art Alive! is a simple art program for a system that can easily do better (and has: Wacky Worlds). When your missing some of the very basic elements that come common with better art programs, such as a music maker and battery backup, you aren’t going to have a real successful program, even if it’s not supposed to be a game. I don’t know how much Sega charged for this, but I hope it wasn’t above $30
SCORE: 6 out of 10