The Master's Pupil - PC (Steam) Review

The Master's Pupil by developer Pat Naoum and publisher Pat Naoum Games Pty LtdPC (Steam) review written by Valerie with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes.

When I found out that everything was hand-painted in The Master's Pupil, I just had to have a stab at this game. Being a student of art I learned a lot about the great artists including Claude Monet whom this game is based on. He struggled in his life with loss and grief which you can follow along in this game.

Pat Naoum took 7 years to make this 2D puzzle platformer and all the visuals were hand-painted by him. He also had to learn game coding! I thought it very ingenius to scan in all his works. They are the continuity throughout the game.

Upon opening The Master's Pupil I was expecting at least an introduction, but I can understand the developer's reasoning that anything would take away from the beauty of the scenery and your character to play as. The mystery in exploring without any hints or other clues as to how to proceed drew me right in with switches, wind drafts and jumps that guided me through each section. I found out that spikes are my enemy. I had so much fun with so much color and a wondrous feeling when I arrived at that first painting!

Now, one thing to note, I have a jumpcraft of zero. So I did many, MANY runs just to get over the first hurdles in The Master's Pupil. And WOW the artwork! So well done that it left me breathless because I am an artist. I am truly amazed at the quality of the graphics in this game right from his own paintings!

The first hurdle in this game had to do with color and this funny nozzle that blew me away when I encountered it. Onto the next section I came across a red ball that almost looked like a ball of wool! As I continued through to the next section I came across updrafts with levers that helped me in getting up, over and around only to fall to my doom between pillars of color.

The next swing at my character's life came in the form of a black poof or puff of colored steam. That made me feel like a deflated balloon as I watched my character fade from the screen and I'd have to start the section over again. At least it wasn't from the very beginning of the game! Yay!

The puzzles got harder as I progressed through The Master's Pupil where I discovered that the physics in this game were an advantage for the home team! Well, team of one that is! I played through this game to halfway on PC where I was wishing for a joystick (not a controller) to play. Somehow, I swear my fingers like to tie themselves in knots on the keyboard! All I have to do is use the AD of the WSAD on the keyboard for left and right direction and the space bar to jump.

The soundtrack in the background reminded me of my first tour of the art gallery in my home town. Then as I listened more closely it sounded like a group of people discussing anything and everything in life. Claude's life. I could also see by the painting progression that Claude's style of painting changed over the course of his life. Even the bitter end for him in that his eyes developed cataracts. What a blow to an artist to lose one's sight like that.

I give huge kudos to Pat Naoum for keeping me both on my toes and engrossed in the puzzles of The Master's Pupil. After a couple of hours playing this game I am at a painting I have to reassemble. So satisfying to note which of Claude Monet's works it was. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to step back in and continue on. So much to see and do.

Final Thoughts

Not everyone would like this game as it is solely about Claude Monet, an artist. I'm sure quite a bit of the puzzles would keep you occupied, but it would also depend on your knowledge of art. Do you know which two colors combined make purple? Me, the artist, being a puzzle addict had its advantages during my playthrough of The Master's Pupil. Art is my thing! I'm invested to complete one puzzle to go on to the next and the next and the next. Beware the poof of doom!

Score: 9 / 10

Author's Note: The image below is the first painting I had seen of Claude Monet's works in an art history booklet at the museum. This one is called Water Lilies and the Japanese Bridge. All artists have inspirational places. This was Monet's and he had created it on his property in France.



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