I sort of like Dreaming Canvas, but it really doesn’t live up to its claim as an adventure game. Exploration is limited, “interesting other travelers” are anything but (silent and stiff), and there doesn’t seem to be any goals. This is more of a small experimental title, that feels like it’s not quite done.

Finding scattered canvases allows you to paint the varied scenery, sometimes including the aforementioned mute characters. But it’s limited to adjusting sliders that alter colors and shades. There’s no gallery or anything where you can view the paintings, so I wasn’t compelled to interact with all of them. Some sort of objective would have been advantageous.

More interesting is finding “inspirational art quotes” scattered about, and having them read aloud. These made the destinations worth exploring at least once. But again, there’s no way to quickly read and rehear these quotes. So they are less a collectible and more of a simple token.

Dreaming Canvas begs for some achievements! I’d like to see indie Playstige Interactive issue an update that patches some further ideas to flesh things out. I liken the current build to watching an episode of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross but turning it off after 20 minutes before the painting is given its final touches.

Thankfully this release has some very nice, mood-evoking tunes that are a real asset when walking about. With five destinations, there’s visual variety as well. An option to speed up the walking slightly would’ve been welcomed, especially in larger areas (desert, snow) that have a lot of empty space that can lead to backtracking.

I feel like there’s really not much more to say, but keep the word count of this review in perspective. Dreaming Canvas is small but, within its limits, it almost manages to deliver some measure of a satisfying experience. For all its weak points, at least it has what it takes to stand apart on the eShop. Not as a game, mind you, but as a walking simulator with an artfulness, and easygoing tranquility. At $4.99 it’s reasonably priced, but only if you’re into moderately unique experiences that feel underdeveloped.