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Manage an Italian art academy in Painters Guild

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Painters Guild

Tom Sykes once described (opens in new tab) Painters Guild as a "smart, streamlined, robust and above all fun management sim", and what a handsome, clever opinion to hold. Lucas Molina's art academy management sim (opens in new tab) has since graduated from an alpha into a proper, finished game, and you can find it on Steam (opens in new tab) if you fancy looking after an artists' workshop in Renaissance Italy.

It's a game about satisfying the whims of your patrons, decorating your workshop, and not actually making any art yourself, which is great for those of us who would struggle to draw a stickman. Painters Guild is a bit like Diner Dash, but with pictures instead of pork chops—and the little animations of creators working are very fun to watch.

There's a 20% discount on Painters Guild for the next couple of days, and unfortunately the free version doesn't seem to be available any more. Still, the following launch trailer offers a pretty good overview of the game.

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.