Mobile game startup PlayArt Labs brings its art appreciation iPad game, Artistico, to the iPhone – TechCrunch

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Israeli independent mobile game studio, PlayArt Laboratories, has an eye on the educational play space, with particular emphasis on the exploitation of cultural learning. The studio has launched a ipad game called Artistico earlier this year, which combines an aesthetic interest in fine art with a pattern-matching game mechanic – allowing players to appreciate the lines, shapes and colors of the masterpieces of the art and learn some facts about art history by assembling each of the works and progressing through the different periods of the art history of the game.

Artistico has garnered more than 10,000 downloads since its launch on the iPad in July and has some 1,100 monthly active users who spend more than five minutes playing per session. PlayArt Labs is now expanding that reach, with the launch later today of an iPhone version – although it shrinks the size of the masterpieces on display to fit the smaller pane of the iPhone (thus shrinking a little the aesthetic pleasure of the game).

How exactly does the gameplay work? Artistico showcases famous works of art from different periods in art history before breaking each painting or artwork into pieces and wiping the colored canvas – leaving only a basic sketch for the player to match puzzle sized parts by dragging them to their correct location.

The more insightful the player’s eye, the faster he can match patterns and the higher his score since he is playing against the clock. It’s both a game and an exercise in art appreciation – especially on the larger screen form factor of the iPad – where the gamer has time to appreciate each masterpiece. work and focus on the small details as he puts them together.

That’s not to say it doesn’t work on the iPhone – it does, although the gaming space can feel a bit cramped, especially when pieces requiring placement are dragged to float on the floor. canvas where they block the lines below, making it more difficult. to find where to insert them.

Here are some screenshots of the Artistico iPhone app:

The design of the game was created by an illustrator of children’s books, which gives the app a narrative feeling – of being a journey through the history of art. It’s this educational tone that PlayArt Labs hopes to help it stand out in the crowded mobile gaming space.

“For us, the game is an exceptional tool for putting art and culture in the hands of casual gamers and art lovers. Our platform allows users to immerse themselves in art by discovering each masterpiece of art through in-depth exploration of paintings, history and artists, ”said the startup. “We believe that our true education-centered approach to experiencing art will differentiate us from the rest of the pack and open up a new category of cultural games.”

PlayArt Labs has also partnered with an online arts community, called MutualArt, to cross-promote to an art-loving audience, and also hopes to partner with art galleries and art museums to incorporate selected works into Artistico – again as another opportunity to co-promotion.

In terms of the business model, Artistico takes the freemium approach, with the basic “Roots of Modern Art” app free to download for iPhone and iPad 2 (iOS 6 and above), with eight dashboards to play. Additional packages of paintings from other art periods can then be added as an in-app purchase, priced at 0.99 cents per package, or from all current and future ages for $ 2.99.

PlayArt Labs also just closed a round of $ 100,000 private angel investors (with the support of friends and family) – which it plans to dedicate to product development on this game and future ones, including the launch of an Android version of Artistico, as well as marketing / partnership expenses.

Future game ideas he’s playing with include a conductor game and a 3D iPad app where users can assemble a clock / watch from scratch, then purchase the real thing when done, TechCrunch says.


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