Please, Touch The Artwork 2 Review – You’re In The Picture

You are a dapper, suit-wearing, art-loving skeleton, recently risen from the grave, with the ability to travel into and through paintings. Using this ability, you help repair rips in the paintings and find missing items for the people living inside of them. Eventually, you find your way home and are able to resume painting yourself, adding your own beautiful artwork to the world (presumably for others such as yourself to travel through).

Please, Touch The Artwork 2 is, as the name suggests, the second hidden object puzzler from developer Thomas Waterzooi. Unlike the previous Please, Touch the Artwork, which focused primarily on modern and geometric art, the second game features a gorgeous hand-painted art inspired by real-world Belgian watercolors. Several real paintings, or elements or variations thereof, are included in the game, and all paintings that served as inspiration are listed in the credits so players can look up the pieces themselves after they’ve finished.

There’s no paintbrushes here – it’s up to you to fix that!

It’s a stunning game, with every single painting and screen beautifully rendered. I could spend hours simply looking at Please, Touch The Artwork 2 . Each of the game’s five chapters has a different aesthetic, from a bustling city to a peaceful beachside scene. My favorite of the chapters was definitely The Still Life, which sees the skeleton protagonist wandering through a series of flowers and fruit arrangements, each image a pleasing riot of colors. It may be a short game, with only a handful of chapters, easily completable in a few hours, but you will definitely find yourself wanting to spend more time with it simply to look at (and touch, of course) the artwork. Plus, Please, Touch The Artwork 2 is completely FREE on Steam, so there’s no question that it’s worth the price!

The gameplay is fairly standard, a mix of hidden object searches and tracing shapes to repair damaged spots in the paintings, plus the occasional “spot the difference” puzzle. The hidden object searches vary in difficulty, with most of them definitely being on the trickier side and keeping you looking for a long time. Particularly memorable and difficult were a search for over 20 matches, distinguishable only by their red heads, and having to find several brown, gray, and reddish-colored cats in a cityscape made almost entirely of those particular colors.

One of the most commonly appearing shapes in the “fix the artwork” puzzles

I also like how forgiving Please, Touch The Artwork 2 is – you are never penalized for asking for a hint, and can choose whether or not to display hints at any time. There are also two levels of hint available: one tells you whether an object you are searching for is on the current screen, while the other points out an object’s location more specifically. I did feel that the second hint pretty much gave things away, and wish it had just indicated an area of the picture to look in rather than pointing out exactly where the hidden object was, but that was a fairly minor complaint. Another small issue is that, because the game does not use any text, there was one instance where I had difficulty understanding what a character was searching for (mustaches, which were just rendered as a pair of lines). Again, though, these are very small issues in an otherwise quite solid hidden object game.

The “painting fixing” puzzles, where you had to go over an entire shape with tape and couldn’t re-cross any lines, were also quite fun. The game is once again forgiving with you, because if you mess up once it gives you a couple of suggestions of where to start next time. I liked these hints because they were useful without giving away the entire puzzle. I did wish there was slightly more variety in shapes, as I encountered several shapes multiple times throughout Please, Touch The Artwork 2, but not to the point that it got annoying or made the puzzles less fun. I also wished that there were a few more spot the difference puzzles, as they were really well done.

I loved this puzzle – you had to reunite a mama ray with all of her babies!

The gameplay is extremely simple and straightforward – it is classic point-and-click. You click on the screen both to pick up hidden objects and to move the skeletal protagonist through the paintings. There are plenty of helpful arrows telling you exactly which direction you can travel from each painting, which is nice. I also liked that, once you have collected all of a particular item, you can fast travel back to the person or being who asked for it. I did find myself wishing at points that there were other options for fast travel, especially in larger levels like The City, but I understand this not being included because of the focus on exploration and wandering around in the paintings.

When it comes to accessibility, Please, Touch The Artwork 2 is a mixed bag. There is the opportunity to turn off “Distressing Sounds” in the game’s settings, which I appreciated (I played with this setting selected, so I don’t know exactly which sounds were silenced). However, some of the areas are very visually overwhelming with how many moving parts there are, and I wished a few times for the opportunity to turn off or slow down animations. Additionally, I suffer from emetophobia, and was unable to complete the chapter “The Wedding” due to fairly graphic and repeated depictions of vomit. I feel that the game probably does need a content warning for that chapter. Fortunately, however, you can play each chapter separately in any order you want, so I could still experience the rest of the game.

Can you spot all of the differences?

Sound and music-wise, the game does very well, there is a frequent sound of murmured conversation in the background in addition to atmospheric sounds that match the level you’re exploring. It really gives the feeling that you are actually in an art museum while also being inside the paintings, and was a really nice touch. It added to the very surreal feeling that pervaded many of Please, Touch The Artwork 2’s levels.

Overall, Please Touch The Artwork 2 is a lovely hidden object game that sets itself apart due to its gorgeous hand-drawn art style. There are a few small issues, mostly relating to the hint system and some potentially disturbing content in one chapter, but it’s otherwise a great game that can be completed in just a few hours. If you love point and click games, hidden object games, puzzle games, or art in general, you should definitely take some time out of your day to help a poor lost skeleton artist find his way home – especially as the game is currently free on Steam!

Kate played Please, Touch the Artwork 2 on PC via Steam using a review code.

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