Review: Joy Exhibition

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes
This game is also available for Linux! This game is free!


[view screenshot]
Using a 'paint gun'

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The aliens seem to be fond of this one

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Some 'art' made with the game

General Information

Genre:Other ESRB Rating:NR - Not Rated
License:Freeware My Rating:Everyone
Played on:Martha
Available from: Itch.IO

General Notes

One of the things I like best about indie games is how free they are to try anything, no matter how unusual. This one has been attracting attention lately, and it's pretty easy to see why. It's an excuse to just experiment and let your imagination take over.

Story Overview

You've been tasked with learning to communicate with an alien race. This task is made a little difficult by the fact that they are completely mute. To help you communicate, you've been provided with ten canvases and a selection of randomly generated paint guns.

So arm yourself, take aim, and paint your messages!

Gameplay Overview

The entire game takes place in an alien's art gallery. There isn't much to do beyond wander about, watch the aliens or head into the studio to paint your pictures.

Inside the studio you'll find a rack of firearms on each side of the door. You'll be using these to make your paintings, so wander over and pick one up. Don't worry about returning them to a specific slot; if you pick up another gun while you're already carrying one, you'll just swap weapons. None of the aliens will care if you wander about while openly carrying either, so putting them away is completely optional.

I would suggest trying out each gun, as they all spray paint on the canvas in a unique way. You'll also get different results depending on how close you are when you fire, so try every gun out from close range and from a distance.

To change which canvas you're working on, leave the studio and walk around. The studio will rotate so that the door faces you. Opposite the door is the canvas you've currently selected. Once you've painted your masterpieces, mingle with the aliens to watch their reactions or simply press ESC to save your works.


Very quiet "game"
The guns do actually make sounds when you pick them up and fire them, but for the most part, this game is so quiet that you could hear an alien pin drop. Run your favorite music player in the background if you want some music playing.

Creative nonsense
Sometimes it's just fun to idly make a mess. That's pretty much the entire point of this game, so pick up a gun and start spraying paint everywhere. The studio walls will end up quite smudged and dirty by the time you're through.

You can save your artwork
If you particularly like how one of the paintings turned out, saving it is just a matter of selecting an option in the game's menu. From there you can upload it to your social media accounts and share it with everyone. Who knows, you might be able to make some truly unique and interesting wallpaper.


More of a tool than a game
Joy Exhibition doesn't really have a way to win. You just play until you decide you're done, which sort of makes it an unusual tool rather than a game.

Concerns and Issues

None really.
At its core, this is more of an unusual art program than a game. With no way to win or lose, there's nothing for parents to be concerned about. At most, the player could put some effort into drawing something inappropriate, but considering how the guns work, that's far more effort than it's worth.