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Review

The Master’s Pupil Review

Artfully eye opening

The eyes have it in the artistic odyssey The Master’s Pupil – a visually captivating puzzle-adventure game developed by Pat Naoum Games. Players will journey into the world of Claude Monet, exploring his life and work through breathtaking hand-drawn visuals combined with physics and colour puzzles. The game’s visual aesthetics and artistic educational value shine, and is a strong first release from its studio.

The Master’s Pupil excels in its presentation; painstakingly painted backgrounds, foregrounds, and assets pay homage to Claude Monet’s evolving style. In a recent video, the creator explained that it took him 7 years to make the game. The dedication to capturing his vision is clearly evident, and results in a visually stunning world that immerses players in the atmosphere of Monet’s art. The emotional storytelling of the game has to be celebrated too – the small nods to Monet’s life and inspirations of his work are beautiful. Feelings through time and space are conveyed through an intricate soundscape and score as you progress through the game, further enhancing the player experience.

It’s hard not to be taken by a game that looks like this

Despite its breathtaking visuals, some players may find that The Master’s Pupil lacks a certain soulfulness. I found it difficult at times to connect with the story as I am not very well versed with Monet’s life and I don’t know any people personally that have studied fine art to appreciate the fascinating way this game translates his life but I am sure they are out there. In saying that, a more inclusive approach to introducing Monet’s artistry could have made the experience more accessible and engaging for a broader audience.

One feature that strikes you the moment you enter the world is there is no dialogue or text in the game. This was a deliberate choice by the game’s creator which I found to be intriguing. I suppose it did allow for the art to tell the story however as mentioned before I did find myself a little lost at certain times of the game’s story. 

As you move your tiny, crude character through the brushstroke jungle, physics puzzles are thoughtfully designed and integrated to enhance the overall experience. The interactions with objects and the environment could have been smoother to provide a more seamless gameplay experience, however overall it felt good. In particular, the transitions between levels were ingenious, Monet’s art gracefully pieced together as you moved to the next stage.

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The colourful art matches well to puzzles

The puzzles themselves are about reassembling Monet’s works, in ways that involve placement and colour. Flicking crystal switches with floating balls, to change the direction of coloured paint fumes, unlocking the artworks as you go. It can be very satisfying and at times challenging so my advice is use the reset button in the menu and avoid black. Additionally, playing with a mouse and keyboard proved to be less intuitive compared to a controller, making the overall gameplay feel more natural and enjoyable with the latter.

Final Thoughts

The Master’s Pupil is an ambitiously beautiful puzzle-adventure game for Pat Naoum Games that draws players into the mesmerizing world of Claude Monet’s art. Art enthusiasts and puzzle lovers willing to delve into the world of Claude Monet will undoubtedly find moments of enchantment. But, for those seeking a more immersive and accessible experience, it may not be a perfect match. The idea behind this game definitely enchanted me, the overall sense of luxury from being hand painted gives the game some wow factor. Gamers, proceed with an open mind when playing and look out for what comes next from this studio. Iris my case.

Reviewed on PC // Review code supplied by publisher

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The Master’s Pupil Review
Monet Exchanged
The Master’s Pupil gives players an inside view into the artistic eye of Claude Monet. Expect to be delighted by hand painted scenery and challenged in your colour and physics knowledge, as you move through this artist's aesthetic through time.
The Good
Luxurious artwork
Linear gameplay
Audiophile friendly
Challenging and interesting puzzles
Controller compatible
The Bad
Can become monotonous as levels seem similar
Instructions are ‘unclear’- players must explore and experiment to move forward in the game
7.5
SOLID
  • Pat Naoum Games
  • Pat Naoum Games
  • Switch, PC, Mac
  • July 28, 2023

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The Master’s Pupil Review
Monet Exchanged
The Master’s Pupil gives players an inside view into the artistic eye of Claude Monet. Expect to be delighted by hand painted scenery and challenged in your colour and physics knowledge, as you move through this artist’s aesthetic through time.
The Good
Luxurious artwork
Linear gameplay
Audiophile friendly
Challenging and interesting puzzles
Controller compatible
The Bad
Can become monotonous as levels seem similar
Instructions are ‘unclear’- players must explore and experiment to move forward in the game
7.5
SOLID
Written By Rhiannen Austin

An effervescent gamer who has an affinity for games involving wheels, she thrives in the high-speed excitement of racing experiences or realms where magic is required. Her passion for gaming and advocacy for women in the industry makes her a dynamic force, inspiring others in any realm she may find herself.

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