The world of video gaming is no stranger to exploring unique narratives, and the latest entry, “The Master’s Pupil,” delves into the personal challenges that impressionist painter Claude Monet faced. But instead of vibrant landscapes or combat challenges, this game centers on the artist’s deteriorating eyesight, shaped by the cataracts that clouded his vision.
In “The Master’s Pupil,” players assist Monet in completing his paintings, navigating a world shaped by his distorted color perceptions. Cataracts significantly affected Monet in his later years and altered his vision in ways that made blues appear more yellowish, and reds fade to a dull brown. Such color shifts, evident in some of Monet’s later works, form the crux of the game’s challenges. Players must carefully gauge colors, spatial relationships, and even basic physics to progress.
The game notably leans into a more somber tone, with nearly all its elements hand-painted to emulate Monet’s impressionism. This commitment to authenticity extends to the slow pace of the game. The developers intended for players to spend time pondering each puzzle, aligning with the contemplative nature of an artist at work.
“The Master’s Pupil” steers clear of a traditional narrative. There’s no explicit text describing Monet or his actions. Instead, players immerse themselves in a world inspired by his actual paintings, underscored by a melancholy soundtrack from independent composer Steven W Schouten.
The game threads Monet’s personal adversities throughout, from his loss of his wife Camille to his battle against cataracts that cloud the eye’s lens and blur vision.
While the famed artist did undergo surgeries in 1923 to remove his cataracts and subsequently revisited some paintings to adjust distorted colors, the game doesn’t provide such detailed historical context.
While “The Master’s Pupil” offers an unconventional gaming experience, its reception remains to be seen. Does the fusion of art, history, and gaming resonate with today’s audience?
This news has been written in collaboration with Open AI’s GPT-4.