Artist Colony in Review – Truly a work of art!

Ah, the artistic person! Sometimes it seems they grow on trees. But until the artist becomes prominent enough for us common folk to know their name it is a long journey to the top. And for some this journey takes them to so-called artist communes or colonies – places where groups of artistic types hang out and try to create something great. Have you ever wondered what really goes on in there apart from the obvious sex, drugs and rock and roll? Thanks to I-play’s latest, Artist Colony, you can have the entire experience, but from the safety and relative drug-free confines of your own two hands. Feel free to discuss this review of Artist Colony in our forums.

Artist Colony is a classic sim game where you have to cater to the needs of your colonists, keep them fed and happy, while earning cash to upgrade the colony structures. The story is almost worthy of its own soap opera: following the efforts of two estranged half-brothers trying to restore an Artist Colony their fathers founded many years ago, it’s a story of love, friendship, betrayal… boy, I almost sound like a soap opera commercial.

The key element in Artist Colony are your colonists. They come in a variety of professions both in male and female form. Unfortunately that’s the only real difference. All of the colonists are pre-generated each having their own distinct look, though the developers for some reason omitted any background information about them. In additions to main professions, each colonist may also train a secondary skill. The level of professional development defines the general price point the artistic creations will be sold at.

In addition, each colonist has a current level of stamina and inspiration. Yes, those wacky types will only do the creating if they’re inspired. And to keep them inspired you’ll have to make sure the colony is clean and looks nice. If all else fails, put the artist next to magic flower that is sure to put at least some kind of a good idea in his head. And there’s always love, the greatest force in the world. Regardless of whether the relationship turns out nice or comes down tumbling it is a sure source of inspiration for any half-decent artist. Also, make sure to keep an eye on the stamina levels since once it reaches the artists will ignore everything until they get some sleep.

There isn’t a huge variety of buildings in Artist Colony – you can upgrade the studios to increase the space and maximum proficiency level of the related profession or upgrade the kitchen to restore the landmarks of the colony – which turns out to be the end target of the game. Some of the upgrades require to have a sufficiently high level artist in a specific profession in addition to cash to do it all.

In the end, the gameplay of Artist Colony boils down to training your artists, inspiring them, dragging them to create masterpieces and waiting while someone wanders in and buys them. Rinse, upgrade, repeat. Where the game succeeds is in making it so addictive you can’t break yourself away from it! A big part of it are the gorgeous graphics and the beautiful music. This is definitely one of those games you should play with sound. The interface is very polished and easy to use, though I did miss a zoom feature on a number of occasions.

Artist Colony is Sim games fun distilled to the point of absolute addiction with graphics and music that draw you in and hold with an iron fist until you complete the storyline. Unfortunately this will probably not take an average gamer more than 4-5 hours after which there is no incentive to go back. The game seriously lacks some kind of an achievements system and more goals to reach. Adding more things to do, achievements and hidden stuff to find would allow Artist Colony to really earn a place in the iPhone Hall of Fame.

With this I declare Artist Colony officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Artist Colony Developer: I-play
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.6 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $3.99 App Size: 40.4 MB
  • Beautiful graphics with changing seasons
  • Very addictive gameplay
  • Involving storyline
  • A bit too simplistic
  • Not much to do
  • Ends far too quickly with no replay value


Sim type games your forte? Have a looksies at some other reviews we’ve covered:

A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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