A basic art program for your NES.
DEVELOPER: Western Technologies
GENRE: “Not a game! A Drawing and Animation System!”
RELEASE DATE: June 1991
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.