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5 Video Games That Look Like Paintings



Nintendo. ©. 2019.

There are those video games that look like captivating, visual paintings. Many art lovers would prefer to get lost in a world where there are tangible mediums, with visible brushstrokes in the wispy clouds, detailed birds, and at times, photorealistic terrains. Maybe the video game can intentionally or unintentionally appear like an oil painting, acrylic painting, watercolor painting, etc. Thinking of yourself as a painting, would you rather be underrated or overrated? If you are in between, do you want to standout? 

Maybe you are a homemade painting or a public painting. We all know that real paint supplies can get messy and expensive. Depending on the level of experience, game designers use numerous game engines to mimic any look they desire. “” will give to you a countdown of the top 5 video games that appear like absolutely stunning masterpieces. 

5. Transistor  

The sci-fi themed, action/RPG (role-playing game) allows you to use a weapon of unknown origin. You can fight in a futuristic city (where the hand-painted artwork is in full 1080p). This game has strategic planning and atmospheric storytelling. Your objective is to piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as you pursue its former owners. “Transistor” is inspired by Austrian painter, Gustav Klimt.

Transistor - Launch Trailer

4. Gris

When you look at “Gris,” you will know right away it looks like a legit watercolor painting, but due to advanced technology, we are fully aware that paintings can be copied. The main character is Gris, on a journey, dealing with a tragic experience. Creatively, there are no texts in the story, (which may drive some people bananas), but visual designs and symbols. More than a walking simulator, this is a puzzle game. 

In 2019, “Gris” won the “Annie” award for “Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation In A Video Game,” the “NAVGTR Award” for “Art Direction, Contemporary,” and “The Game Award” for “Games for Impact.”

Gris - Launch Trailer | PS4

3. Ōkami 

Developed by “Clover Studio” and published by “Capcom,” is “Ōkami.” “Ōkami,” in 2006, was released for the “PS3” (PlayStation 2) in Japan and North America. In 2007, “Ōkami” was finally released in Europe and Australia. Because this game is valued for its art style similar to a painting, it was nominated for various awards. In 2007, “Ōkami” won the “Game Developers Choice Awards,” the “BAFTA Games Award,” for “Best Original Score,” and the “BAFTA Games Award” for the “Artistic Achievement.”

“Ōkami” was in the Guinness World Records twice. In 2006, the game received the sarcastic title of “Least Commercially Successful Winner of A Game of The Year Award.” In 2018, “Ōkami” was recognized as the “Most Critically Acclaimed Video Game Starring an Animal Character.”

2. Cuphead

The 2017 video game “Cuphead” developed and published by “Studio MDHR,” was inspired by the golden age of American animation (with the rubber hose style of animation). In other words, the game was inspired by “Walt Disney Productions” and Fleischer Studios.” “Cuphead” won various awards. In 2017, “Cuphead” won “The Game Award” for “Best Independent Game” and “The Game Award” for “Best Art Direction.” At the “SXSW Gaming Awards,” in 2018, “Cuphead” won the “SXSW Gaming Awards” for “Excellence in Art” and “Excellence in Animation.” There are many more awards “Cuphead” earned, but the named awards alone shows an honorable amount of credibility. 

Cuphead Launch Trailer

1. Paper Mario: The Origami King

This may be an unsurprising pick, but “Paper Mario” deserves to be on the list. From each brick in Peach’s castle, to the folded origami soldiers of King Olly, the entire game appears like it was handcrafted. Have you ever tried making an origami and realized the amount of patience it takes to follow tutorials to create at least something half as decent? Now, try creating an entire game with cleverly designed origami, without giving up.

Isaiah Joshua is an author and poet and has a love for video games. In May 2016, he graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor's Degree in Cinema Arts and Science. As an avid gamer, some of his favorite games are "WWF No Mercy, Hitman, Manhunt, Sims 3, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter. Conscious in gaming culture, he is always researching gaming history, as well as the latest games to write about.

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