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!

Summary of major issues
This "game" is basically an imaginatively designed art program, so there's nothing to worry about.


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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
Save System:The artwork you create is automatically saved in the "Artwork" folder located in the same directory as the game's executable. If you want, you can also manually save the artwork via the pause menu.

Game Overview

Joy Exhibition is an example of something I particularly like to see in indie games. Since there is no pressure to conform to any standard, indie developers are free to experiment and create whatever they want. That also happens to be your goal in this game, though it may take me a moment or two to explain what I mean.

This game takes place in a surreal and alien art gallery. Iridescent humanoids wander the halls, looking for things that to find interesting. Your job is to provide them with visual entertainment by creating abstract paintings in the gallery's central area (or "studio").

The twist, however, is that while the studio does provide canvases for you to use, there are no paintbrushes, pencils, markers, crayons, or other normal art supplies. Instead, you'll find a large rack of colorful firearms on each side of the door. You'll be using these to paint your masterpieces. None of the weapons are actually dangerous, as they're designed to spray paint in various fanciful ways. On the downside, they rarely shoot straight and often have distracting secondary features, so you're probably not going to be able to paint anything other than abstract art.

Once you've finished with a painting, step outside the studio and line it up with a different canvas. This will allow the aliens access to the work, and many of them will stop to take a look. None of them can speak our language, but you can still get an idea of what they think of your doodles.

If you'd like a little fun playing around with paint, try downloading this game and shooting the canvases for a bit.


Very quiet "game"
Although the guns do actually make sounds when you pick them up and fire them, this game is so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. The lack of music and sound effects seems fitting somehow, though not everyone will enjoy that. If you'd like some ambient music, you'll need to run your favorite music player in the background.

Create order out of chaos
The "paintguns" are randomly generated. Everything from the colors they use to the way the paint is sprayed on the canvas is unique to each gun. When the game is launched, every slot in the studio is filled by a freshly created firearm, so no two iterations of the game will feature the same art supplies.

Creative nonsense
Sometimes it's just fun to make a mess. While that's basically the point of the game, seeing the aliens react to your artwork is also entertaining. Who knows, perhaps you'll create something that leaves the patrons completely entranced.

If you really 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. With enough practice, you might be able to make some truly unique and interesting wallpaper.


More of a tool than a game
There's no conflict to overcome, nor is there any way to beat the game. When you get down to it, Joy Exhibition is just a fancy way to make some abstract art. This means that your average player will lose interest in it fairly quickly. Meditative games like this aren't for everyone.

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.