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Painterly is a 3D platformer developed by N Studios for the Neo. The game features a clean, colorful art style from creator Dk64rules(t∣b∣c), with smooth lines and high-contrast colors, 5 colorful worlds, interesting characters, and a touching story.
Stricken with grief over many occurrences in his life, artist Adam Morsai is known for creating grim pieces of artwork, which he keeps stocked in his studio, only to be seen by his eyes. Since he rarely sells any of his work, Adam struggles with severe financial issues as well as his dark, depressing outlook on life.
One night, when Adam is passed out on his drawing desk, his art is suddenly changed. Dark turns to light, sadness, to happiness, death, to life. But, when he awakens to find his comforting artwork turned into beautiful pieces which could make him millions, he isn't happy about it at all...
He looks at his canvases on the walls, all changed from their original, disturbing forms into brighter scenes, and notices that in every one, two child-like sprites appear, having fun in the surroundings of each piece of art.
"Them..." He mutters, taking up a brush, and infecting every painting with his symbol, called the Morsaius. At the last picture, of a tower in front of a red and blue sky, he paints himself as a powerful, royal-looking figure, on the top of the fortress, and an army of monsters below on the ground.
Suddenly, Adam's eyes roll back into his head, and he falls to the floor of his apartment.
He opens his eyes, and sees a vast field in front of him, a red and blue sky above, and the stones of the top of a tower below him.
Darkness is returning to the paintings on the wall.
Seeking to destroy the ones that ruined his work, Morsai finds them, a boy and a girl, and steals the girl away to his tower, beckoning the boy to rescue her, only to bring them both to their death.
However, the boy must deal with the armies of monsters ready to tear away the colorful worlds and bring back the disturbing creations of their master...
The player controls Forte, the boy who must save his partner and keep Morsai's paintings free from evil. There are 5 painting worlds, each with their own unique, colorful 3D environments. The goal in each world is to open the way to the Morsai's original painting under each, where the boss resides.
Each Morsai painting is sealed away by the monsters of the surface, and the player must fulfill what conditions have to be met in order to get in. In one world, it requires the rebuilding of a key. In another, it isn't blocked at all, rather a heavy focus is put on the platforming to get there. Because of this style of play, the worlds, though quite expansive, feel like large, content-rich levels.
Emerald Hills Emerald Hills is the first world of Painterly. Its simple, bright surroundings are perfect grounds for learning the basic gameplay.
Icicle Tops Icicle Tops introduces interaction with water, ice, and wind to the game. Just as this world is more difficult than the first, it is also more detailed.
Golden Desert The main draw of the Golden Desert is the large pyramid, where four of the seven pieces of Morsai's Key are found. This is the first world with a large indoor environment.
Sunset Field A foreboding sun sets on the field in front the omnious tower. The Morsaius symbol appears heavily here, as this world is greatly affected by Morsai's dark power.
Morsai Tower Morsai Tower is the final world of the game. It is a straight platforming-heavy climb to the top, where Morsai stands, ready to do battle! But, what could Morsai have up his sleeve for the epic fight...?
Forte Forte was tasked to help the struggling Adam Morsai by changing his paintings into beautiful artwork with his partner, Melody. Now, Forte must save her from Morsai at The Fortress.
Melody Partner to Forte in their task to help Adam Morsai, Melody is captured and held at The Fortress when Morsai entered the painting worlds. There is more to her revealed in the ending of the game.
Morsai In his quest to destroy the ones who changed his artwork, Morsai has gone from a boring, struggling young man to a royal-looking lord of darkness. From his perch on The Fortress, he can see all of the worlds that Forte must travel through.
Dra Gonar in Morsai Painting: Wildfire
Yeeto in Morsai Painting: Frozen Over
Gyarkhamn in Morsai Painting: Rise of the Dead
The Symbol in Morsai Painting: The Symbol
Morsai in Morsai Painting: Morsai Tower
Kura in Morsai Painting: Great Kura
A wisp-like creature with a spastic flight pattern and the element of wind. A Leafair doesn't do much damage and is more of an annoyance than a threat.
A small, fox-like animal that found itself lost from its home of the Golden Desert. Its charge attack holds real treat when in great numbers of Kicoas.
Makus are creatures made of wood from magical trees. They all have a stem on top with leaves that act as propellers, allowing it to fly high into the sky. There are light wood and dark wood variations.
Icicle Caverns variant of the Leafair. Iceairs are much more dangerous than normal Leafairs due to their ability to freeze Forte.
Fiery Kicoas are fire-breathing Kicoas lost from their home, the Sunset Field. The juxtaposition of fire and ice makes these dangerous animals useful in some puzzles.
Melts are sentient ice cubes that live in the inner caverns, where it's cold enough for them to survive. One touch will freeze Forte, leaving him vulnerable.
Yetals are yeti-like monsters with great strength but slow speed. Long-range attacks are perfect in avoiding a Yetal's power while defeating it.
Golden Desert variant of the Leafair. They are dangerous for their ability to employ lightning bolts to attack Forte.
A Kicoa variant that belongs in the Emerald Hills. Because its home is water-rich, the lack of water in the desert brings out the savage tendencies of this animal.
A ghostly spirit shaped like a one-eyed mask.
A dark practitioner of black magic, the faceless Wizzar carries a mysterious staff as the conduit of its power.
When Masklies attach to Wizzars, a new monster is formed. A Wizly's top hat can spawn new Masklies if the original is broken.
Sunset Field variant of the Leafair. They can breathe fire, to attack Forte and set the grassy environment aflame.
Icicle Kicoas are native to the Icicle Tops. They are quite special in Sunset Field, useful in fire-based puzzles, yet dangerous because of that ability to breathe freezing air.
Fyruoes are flaming wisps that will shoot their hands out, which acts similarly to a fireball attack. If a Icicle Kicoa breathes its cold breath onto a Fyruo, an Icyuo is formed.
Icyuoes are only formed from Fyruoes under certain conditions. They are extremely dangerous but hold the key to getting to the Sunset Field boss.
The master class of all the Air variants.
Deadly Kicoas are surrounded by clouds of darkness, and are the most powerful of their kind.
The most powerful variant of Wizly. The top hat can now spawn Wizzars as well as Masklies, as an effort to distract Forte from attacking the main High Wizly.
One DLC pack was created for this game. Entitled Painterly: Eye of Gyarkhamn, the downloadable add-on features three new worlds based on one of Morsai's stories about a treasure hunter searching for the fabled eye of an ancient desert king.
Painterly is similar in art style to Kenny's Kwest, and is considered the spiritual successor to that series.
The enemy "Iceair" can be pronounced similar to "ice hair", a reference to Game Grumps.
The bosses "Gyarkhamn" and "The Symbol" are both head-and-hands based and similar in design.
Despite the slightly graphic imagery in the Morsai paintings, Painterly received an "E10+" ESRB rating. This is reminiscient of the dark "kids games" that received "E" ratings in the '80s and '90s.