Pokemon Art Academy Should Come To The Switch

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Released in 2014, Pokemon Art Academy was a stylized cross between Pokemon and the Academy of Arts series. It offered 40 lessons on how to draw Pokemon that graduated users from simple tutorials to more complex drawings, with a Free Paint mode that featured templates, references, and unlockable mini-lessons. Although the game loosely adheres to the Pokemon formula by including a teacher and a “rival” student peer, it remains one of the most unique experiences among Pokemonit’s a lot spin off.

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Developed for the Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon Art Academy took advantage of the basic handheld’s touch controls and camera so players could take reference shots. However, with the 3DS ending production in 2020, Nintendo is throwing its weight behind the Switch. Since the Pokemon has evolved significantly since 2014, and the expanded functionality of the Switch itself, there’s a great opportunity to port or remaster Pokemon Art Academy.

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Switch from 3DS to Switch

Thanks to the Switch having its own touchscreen, one of the integral mechanisms behind Pokemon Art Academy is already covered in the transition between 3DS and Switch. However, unlike the 3DS, the Switch does not have a camera. This could easily be replaced by allowing gamers to access Nintendo’s online services and upload any references or photos they needed. A possible solution would be to integrate the game with Pokemon Homeallowing players to select Pokemon stored as virtual models instead of taking actual photos.


Once the basic mechanics are covered, a potential port of Pokemon Art Academy could then capitalize on the features offered by Switch to develop the original game. A larger touchscreen would give gamers more space to draw, and the Switch could double as a tablet if hooked up to a TV, as modern digital artists do. Plus, additional features like using Joy-Cons as individual controllers mean two or more players can work together on a piece of artwork, and motion controls can influence new mechanics for a Free mode. Paint with extensive drawing tools and art styles.


More Pokémon to draw

When Pokemon Art Academy was released, the series was in the middle of its sixth generation, and the game reflected this with additional lessons unlocked after the first 40 to teach players how to draw Mega Evolutions. Although Mega Evolutions have been put on the back burner, that doesn’t mean a spin-off art game should ignore them. Plus, with two more generations since then and a ninth on the way, Pokemon Art Academy would have a breadth of content to draw from both figuratively and literally.

For example, the introduction of new regional variations and evolutions could help educate players on how to adapt the lessons they learned from drawing one Pokemon form to another. A good example of this could be Meowth, already popularized through the anime, as it brings three different shapes to draw and a unique branching evolution. On top of that, Dynamax would help players learn more about light and shading, since Dynamaxed Pokémon are lit from below rather than traditionally from above. Gigantamax forms would also add variety to the regional forms and evolutions that also exist.


unlike others Pokemon Games, Pokemon Art Academy should also take the opportunity to go beyond just being a port, and instead capitalize on the current expectations of ongoing updates. In order to keep things fresh and interesting, a remaster should be regularly updated and keep pace with the Pokemon series, like when pokemon scarlet and Purple are released. The game could also include additional courses, possibly in the form of downloadable content, to explore other spin-off games such as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Where Pokemon Legends.

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The potential of the Art Academy on The Switch

The original series that Pokemon crossed with, Academy of Arts, had a successful tenure on the DS and Wii U for some regions. This transition from DS to Wii U demonstrates that developer Headstrong Games is used to adapting its format between platforms, suggesting that switching to the Switch wouldn’t be impossible. However, with the Wii U and DS no longer being Nintendo’s focus, there were no further entries into the Academy of Arts series since.

If Headstrong Games is no longer able to conduct a new Pokemon Art Academy, Game Freak could choose another developer to lead the project. Given the large amount of Pokemon fan art out there, Game Freak would be wise to embrace that passion and help foster gamers’ artistic interests. Although the initial sales of Pokemon Art Academy might not warrant a physical release, Game Freak would be more than capable of releasing the game digitally only, similar to Pokemon Uniteinitially offering the game for free with additional purchases for more complex courses and lessons.

Game Freak has two options: even if they are unwilling or unable to remaster Pokemon Art Academy, it could port the game so fans can still enjoy the experience, capitalizing on fan support for Pokemon. The necessary changes it would require are minimal, and arguably the Switch could prove to be a better console for gamers to use in their artwork compared to the 3DS. The only challenge would be finding a dev studio willing to take on the project, maybe Sabec Limited on the back of games like To paintor Collect smiles after Live Colors.

Pokemon Art Academy is now available for the Nintendo 3DS.

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