Starting off our Painting VR review, this really is a fantastic painting game – possibly the most fun I’ve had doing artistry in VR. It’s a game that really captures the act of painting perfectly. People may look at this game and go “Okay, Why would I care about this when I have applications like Quill or Dreamer? Even VR Chat has decent painting worlds!.” While that is true, VR chat does have good painting worlds, it doesn’t compare to Painting VR. Why? Find out more in our Painting VR review!
This is a Painting VR review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review or read the full review of the game below.
Publisher: Cybernetic Walrus
Platforms: PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: April 14, 2022
What sets Painting VR apart from other VR art apps is that it isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. The only thing that Painting VR wants to do is give you a painting experience.
When you strap on your headset and grab your paint brush of choice, you feel like you’re actually painting. When painting with a brush, you can almost feel the paint with how smooth the brushes glide across the canvas.
Brush control is important and the directions of your brush strokes affect the look of your paints. If you wanted to edge with a brush with paint on one side and a different paint on the other side, you can do that as easily as you could if you wanted to quarter the brush.
Pressure sensitivity is also measured, so to create thin lines you barely push your brush down onto the canvas, or to mix two colors on canvas you’d just slap that brush on there and start whacking it around. It all feels very clean and natural. I tested making some clouds and found that I was able to employ some basic painting techniques, for that I was impressed.
There are a variety of different tools such as a painter pens, smudge sticks, and flick brushes with their own uses. Each tool brings something to your painting arsenal that another brush can’t do. There is even a spinning gun that can have different brushes attached to it to make cool patterns with other brushes, creating unique backgrounds for your more “modern arts.”
Mixing paint while doing our Painting VR review is very intuitive and feels just like it would if you mixed paint in real life. You can dab a bit of blue on your painters palette, then mix in some white to get a light blue, throw that on the canvas (already covered in a wet layer of “Titanium white”) and begin making beautiful daylight skyscapes is incredibly easy.
With the ingame browser they provided, you are able to to view Youtube, Spotify, or reference images. There is zero delay and screen tearing with in the game video player so you can even follow along to your favorite “Joy of Painting” episode or listen to Beethoven while having an “artistic breakdown”.
When doing our Painting VR review, it’s not perfect though – there are some gripes like the strange locale they picked for the setting and the some of the controls. The setting in Painting VR is ugly, being what amounts to an abandoned skate park.
The walls of this skate park won’t let you spray paint or decorate outside of hanging your paintings up on the walls. It’s a shame because I would have liked to paint on the top of a cliff seeing a beautiful horizon or even in a nice autumn forest.
The controls as far as painting and moving are fine. However, picking things up from a far is very clunky. Because I have a Steam Index, picking things up and letting them go was frustrating.
In order to pick up an object I would need to squeeze my controller, and if I need to put it down I would squeeze again. This act of double gripping made for some frustrating moments where I ended up just having to walk over to what I was needing and just pick it up normally. However, I understand that if you were a Quest or Vive player, this would not be an issue at all.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking to buy Painting VR, you’re not buying a game, you’re buying painting software.
Because of that after doing our Painting VR review I’d say that the game is about as good as you’re going to get when it comes to virtual reality painting. It’s not like Quill where you paint in a 3D space and have to worry about depth, or if your 50 ft virtual lines are going to match up if you look at it from a different angle.
Painting VR is not like Tilt Brush where it’s not so much painting, but making 3D sculptures. All the developers behind Painting VR wanted was for the game to be about the Joy of Painting. Painting VR provides it to those who would be unable to paint in the meat space by giving them a chance to have an authentic painting experience within the virtual space.
We did our Painting VR review on PC with a review code provided by Oisoi. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Painting VR is now available across Windows PC (via Steam and Oculus).