#704 – Videomation

A basic art program for your NES.
Tiger sold separately.
That’ll be 300,000 dollars.



DEVELOPER: Western Technologies

GENRE: “Not a game! A Drawing and Animation System!”


Unlike the glorified coloring book, Color a Dinosaur, Videomation allows you to draw your own dinosaurs; ones that don’t resemble “We’re Back” rejects. “But Dylan!” you cry. “I don’t want to draw dinosaurs! My artistic indulgences can not be fettered!” That’s ok too. Videomation is essentially a Microsoft Paint program from Windows 3.0 shoved into your NES, which means, you can draw whatever you like within early 90s parameters. You’ve got thirteen color palettes and a range of tools – circle, line, arrow, paint, the usual – to choose from. There are unnerving stamps of random images, like teddy bears, the sun, and a guy driving a car, with which to garnish your masterpiece. Creepiest of all are simple, repetitive animations – images of a child crawling or a bunny hopping – that you insert on top of the drawing. The animations make no sense. What image could you possibly draw or paint that would require a bunny hopping across it for it to be complete?

The kiddy stamps and animations scream, “Videomation is for children!” but if you choose not to use those, it’s a decent all-ages paint program; particularly for a console in 1991. The colors look washed-out, but that has more to do with the NES’ limitations than the game itself. Be warned: should you decide to indulge in some antiquated painting, you won’t be able to save your pieces. As someone with little artistic talent, I didn’t mind seeing my scribbles deleted, but if you can’t bear the thought of losing a piece of you, have your cell phones at the ready.

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5 replies on “#704 – Videomation”

I got this for a birthday or Christmas, and “played” it like crazy, making mockups of game ideas, including some I still mean to put into practice. 🙂 There&#039s just something rewarding about translating an idea from mind to screen, and back when I would still have to beg to use somebody else&#039s PC (dang…), this was my go-to. (I later picked up Mario Paint, of course… and was eagerly awaiting the whole Mario Artist N64 series.) I always wanted to try the Tiny Toons one, but based on your earlier review, maybe I dodged a bullet there. 🙂

I think I bought this when I was about ten. I was enticed by the promise of creating my own animation, and when I saw that “animation” translated to “a small rocket ship will randomly fly over your shitty drawing” I was pretty crushed. I still messed around with it every once in a while, and I even remember drawing a topless woman with the program, feeling giddy with the rush of preteen rebellion. Kinda wish I could go back in time and see the crap I made with it.

No grade. It&#039s a Paint program, and I lack any artistic skills. I could grade the presentation, I suppose, but that&#039s only one aspect of Videomation. If you like to paint and don&#039t mind twenty-year-old programs, you&#039ll probably like it.

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