Art Alive review - Sega Megadrive

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Become the modern day equivalent of Constable, Picasso or Da Vinci with Art Alive - the first art package ever produced for the Megadrive!

You are given the digital equivalent of a blank canvas, along with the necessary binary paints and crayons necessary to creat a masterpiece. Use your artistic prowess to build up exquisite backdrops and the overlay fine sprites - you can even animate them with Art Alive's comprehensive animation options.


Just think, your “friends” mocked and pointed wickedly at your sad scribblings whenever you tried to draw. Now you can get even wit this fine art package. Art Alive: it's art made easier - or is it?

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" When Jaz told me about an art package coming out for the Megadrive, I could have sworn that his chin was spinning at many revolutions per minute, What is the point of producing such a package when you can' save your efforts for posterity? I thought maybe a battery back-up could solve some of the problems, but Art Alive hasn't got one - it expects you to record your pictures onto videotape! This would be bearable if the package itself was of a high quality, but Art Alive is frankly a bungling shambles of an effort. Using only 16 of the Megadrive's 512 colours at once is a sad state of affairs, and each of the tools are so unwieldy that actually creating anything decent is impossible (as you can see from the pic!). The tools themselves are also primitive to say the least - drawing anything more complex than lines, boxes and elipses is a long and boring process. I'm not a complete ignoramus in the art department(I actually create a lot of the review logos used in this very mag with a PC art package), and I'm sure that even an experienced artist would sneer at this pathetic package. If you're at all into art, I'd suggest shelling out thirty English pounds on some decent paints and venting your creative urges in the more traditional manner. "

" While Art Alive is certainly a noble attempt at trying out something diverse and different on console, it's actually a completely pointless program. For a start you can't store your pictures on cartridge (a very stupid oversight indeed) and storing them on video is irritatingly tricky to set up and ultimately a waste of time - because the art program itself is complete rubbish. It lacks flexibility: the palette of 16 colours at once out of a possible 256 is pathetic, the on-screen tools are poor, the animation features are extremely limited and are a chore to use and generally the whole program is very fiddly and difficult to work with. The cursor is so large you can't judge where a line starts and its movement is awful - there's no inertia at all, meaning that it always moves in straight lines and drawing curves is next to impossible. The choice of brushes is dreadful, the spray can option useless and to cap it all, the program itself is really slow. To be honest, Art Alive is a waste of money. If you want to make computer pictures, get a computer and use your console to play games on - after all, that's exactly what it's designed for. "


Overall Scorena

Retrospective comments


What a waste of time this game is. What good is an art package when you can't save your work? And the MD is more than able to display more than 16 colours, for pete's sake!

Sega got it so very wrong with this. I can't think of anything more dull than drawing pictures on a console - you're better off doing some doodles on a scrap of paper with your crayons. Nintendo's Mario Paint suffers the same fate, but at least Nintendo gave you more options, and there was the added bonus of a mouse, which really is a requirement for this kind of thing.

At the time of release I avoided this like the plague - even back in the early 90's your average home computer came with an art package free of charge that was better than this - and you could save (and print) your work. This game is like a broken pencil - pointless.

Andreas Åkermark Wernlund - 26 May 2015, 19:38 GMT

Art alive was one of the games I got as a kid growing up. And I honestly thought it was a blast of fun! Remember, this was before everyone had a computer with a drawing program. Now days playing a game like this makes no sense. But back then it did. So I will rate Art alive with that in mind, giving it a overall score of 80% just because you cant save what you created.

Mean Machines Issue 19 - April 1992
Simulation Sega Megadrive
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Art Alive

Art Alive

Art Alive

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