I’m no artist, but this game sure makes me feel like one. SuchArt! Genius Artist Simulator might be the most anticipated game of 2021 for me as soon as I heard about it. This incredible project was developed by a single person in Voolgi, and published by HypeTrain Digital. This well-named publisher has backed several other promising indie games such as Stoneshard, Breathedge, and Police Stories, and Suchart! might just be the best release yet.
I’m in love with this game. If it ends up winning my GOTY for 2021, I won’t be surprised in the slightest. However, I’m here to review it, not just gush all over the screen. What is Suchart? I’m pleased you asked.
An artistic simulator-based heavily on realism, there are actually two versions of the game. In January they released a creative free demo, where you get a healthy slice of the game mechanics and a chance to play around with the tools for yourself. While this demo is limited by the number of commissions you get, you have plenty of time to see what the game is like. If it tickles your fancy, the full game was released in July with Early Access for £15.49/17 EUR/20USD. With that, you get an unlimited creative mode which you can paint to your heart’s content as well as a chunky Story mode. There’s even a faster mode for streamers, which gives you income and unlocks much faster if you are in a need to hurry.
Firstly, I have to praise Voolgi for the generosity of the demo. You can pick it up here by clicking on the adorable pet robot down below:
It’s one of the best demos I’ve ever played. There’s financial reasons why they’re more of a rarity in gaming these days, but it’s great for the consumers to try it out first hand, without risking a purchase. It’s an impressively sized slice of the game. Sure, you get limited tools and you only get a limited number of client requests, but I still racked up a dozen hours from the creative demo alone. It really sets the scene for the full game, and that’s when my love for it really shines.
Story… Nah. It’s all about the art!
Set in a futuristic sci-fi timeline where the galaxy is colonized by strange aliens, you are employed by the artistic talents in the year 2130.
In a timezone where robotics and AI dominate life, human-based art is increasingly rare to come by, which makes you in demand! Yes, there’s a story of sorts in this sim, even when there is no real need for one. With your sibling to help you out, your life in this game revolves around your studio. Your goal? To create to your heart’s content. That’s it. There’s no food and drink modifiers, no need to worry about sleep or time, you just create artwork. Helping you out with this are effective movement controls and a huge range of artistic tools. We’ve had some painting games before, but nothing like Suchart.
The physics in this game are fantastic, and beyond anything, I’ve seen a for this genre. It really feels like you’re painting in reality, without all the downsides. I’d love to paint but it’s both expensive and messy and requires a lot of free space. I live in the equivalent of a cupboard, so there’s not much room to spread my creative wings besides a laptop. This is a way to expand your horizons in a careful and free way, and it works just as intended. Paint is just how it is in real life, and it’s amazing how they got everything to work as well as it does. There’s so many different paints, pencils, and options available to purchase, and in creative mode, you start with everything unlocked. The amount of potential is down to your creativity, and having the tools to do that is brilliant. Creative mode is the delicious ice cream sundae that keeps on giving, with no pressure on the player.
In Story Mode, you get to build up your studio from humble beginnings into a fortune with commissions from clients, and as far as I know, these are unlimited, so there’s no end-game state where you can ‘lose’. During the events of the story mode, you build up your rank, unlock new things including an incredibly cute and helpful Petbot (seriously, he’s adorable, just look at the photos below), and learn of a growing revolution on Earth between humans, robots and the cute Crabux, who are little crab aliens. You may be asked to take part in propaganda paintings. You’re welcome to take any side you want, it doesn’t particularly matter. Once you’ve unlocked all the ranks, you’ll continue to get commissions forever, so you can keep playing and unlocking whatever you wish. My favorite part of the game is your own virtual studio where you can put up your favorite paintings and bring in even more money and fame. It’s a lovely example of progression and shows how far you’ve come.
You’re free to take as many or little commissions as you want, with no pressure or time constraints. The game’s design is geared to the artist and the ideology that art is subjective and can never be bad. No matter what you make, your clients will like it and pay you, no questions asked. So don’t worry if your clients wish to draw them an orange that ends up looking like a cat.
Suggestions and Performance
While I love this design because it caters to creativity and is not a difficulty toggle, it could be cool to have a more competitive mode where you are marked on accuracy. I like it’s not in the game by default because it may put many people off the game (more accessibility is a good thing!) but it might be something to look into for future updates. More options are great, but I don’t know how easy this would be to implement.
The game is also surprisingly well optimized for physics. I played both the demo and the full game on a ‘Gaming laptop’, with GTX 1060 Max-Q 6GB graphics, Intel i7 8750H processor, and 32GB ram, with the game installed on an SSD. It runs without problems at 60FPS on the highest settings, no questions asked, and barely takes up 2GB storage. Even when you get a ton of objects, it didn’t tank the framerate much. If you run it on a laptop it will make it a little bit toasty, but nothing to concern yourself. The game also seems to run well on integrated graphics, and I hit 30fps on high settings with the Intel HD 615 graphics chip. You may run into framerate problems when things get busier, though I haven’t been able to test it fully.
Are there any real flaws to this game? I’ve been an advocate of the ‘nothing is perfect’ formula, but I can’t think of many problems. I’ve had a few minor glitches with the paint, and some objects fly across the screen occasionally, but I’ve had nothing game-breaking. I find it a challenge to find anything to criticize. All I can think of are minor suggestions like the different difficulty modes and more content, which is on the way in the roadmap. It’s honestly a perfect example of what an artistic sim should be. It’s an artist’s dream, runs well, and is extremely cost-effective for the content you get. I’ve racked up 30 hours already in both the demo and the full game, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I want to accomplish.
There’s no other game on the market quite like this one. Suchart! makes me want to be a better artist, and that might be the best compliment I can give it. It’s a true gem in gaming and it might be my favorite game yet in 2021. When the free demo alone has more content and polish than most full-release games, you know you’ve struck gold.
- Incredible physics
- Plenty of content to fufill your artistic mind
- Great Value for the price
- A brilliant demo if you're on the fence
- A suprisingly well built world
- Only minor bugs
- Perhaps could do with more difficulty settings