Great Artists Steal is a hand-drawn platformer full of masterpieces

Great Artists Steal is a hand-drawn platformer with stages full of reproductions of famous paintings, all of them created by Glasgow-based artist SCR1BBLE. As a tiny thief—a human-shaped doodle—you'll have to leap from frame to frame, avoiding inky enemies and loose paintings, all in an effort to nab a masterpiece. 

The entire game has been drawn with a fineliner pen, with SCR1BBLE drawing them on card and then sending them to developer Handprint, at which point they're scanned and then strung together in Photoshop before being popped into the game. Rotoscoping was used for the character animation, and you can see the result in the trailer below. 

More than 200 frames of animation were used to create the player character's actions just in the trailer. Great Artists Steal is still in development, with Handprint planning on adding a few more hours of art theft with new levels and paintings. You can watch Girl With a Pearl Earring being recreated below.

The Kickstarter page has a few more. 

Because the surfaces are all just simple painting frames, I'm curious to see how it manages to keep the platforming engaging. It seems fairly straightforward, though the frames are arranged in a maze full of daunting gaps. You can wall jump, slide down frames and use your pen to fight if you encounter any trouble you can't jump run away from. 

There are two enemy types: red enemies will suddenly pop into existence and attack with ranged weapons, while blue enemies patrol the paintings and use melee attacks if they spot you. Paintings can also fall off the wall if they're precariously perched on a nail and will start to wobble when you land on them. 

You'll die when you run out of ink, which makes combat an interesting prospect. Using up ammo means using up your life, but running in for a melee attack or running away could also cost you some health if you're hit first. 

It sounds promising! There's a couple of weeks left on the Kickstarter and it's close to hitting 50 percent of its goal. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.