Kingspray Graffiti offers a fun artist sandbox that feels just as authentic, albeit without the worry of being caught in the act.
When street art is done right, with permission, skill and creativity, it can be really impressive. Like a large painted canvas, the sheer size of some street art can be very impactful as it covers an entire side of a wall or building. I’ve seen some amazing street art in many cities including my home town of Brighton, in Budapest, Paris and Naples, they have always inspired me to have a go, yet in reality it just isn’t practical. Kingspray Graffiti is a VR graffiti simulator that opens up this possibility for anyone interested in picking up a spray can and getting creative, albeit virtually.
Liaising with some world-class street artists, its developers have managed to capture fairly close to what it is like to spray onto brick walls, a truck or a train. The finest of details have been recreated, such as the shimmery effects when using metallic paint, watching paint drip on concentrated spots, to apply fading, pressure and wet/dry effects. It’s all here for anyone willing to get creative and have the freedom of doing this virtually, all without the jail time that comes with it, if caught on the job.
Entering into the game’s menu, you get to select from either jumping into a solo or online environment, or you can browse the many creations from other players for some inspiration. Selecting the first of ten unique environments I was quickly teleported into a solo location of a downtown rooftop. In front, a bare brick wall awaits me, waiting for its first cock and balls creation – let’s be honest, we all did that first, right?
Picking your paint is simple and very intuitive to do. Your lead hand always has a spray can loaded with a colour. To choose between different spray can colours you simply roll the analogue stick to the left and right, and each new can of a similar themed colour will roll itself around and swap with the one you are currently holding. Flicking the stick up will change the entire colour shade of cans. Additional functionality can be had by pressing the grab button and using the stick to change caps and pressure. This is good if you want to blend similar colours or select from a preset stock of cans. If you want a more granular control of your colours, this is done on the other hand where you’ll find more options to customise your spray can to how you want it.
Over on your other hand you have the ability to quickly pick directly from a wide colour pallet. You can also save colours and also select different spray can caps that have been carefully designed to create different effects for particular applications. Some caps will give you thin lines, whilst other caps maybe better when blocking out colour, or blending between colours. You simply use your other can to select between each option. It is fast and intuitive to do and you can select between the effects and colours you want quickly and easily.
Whilst in the environment, getting around and spraying within the world feels very natural. You can teleport around the environment easily to move along the wall and moving away to observe from afar. Pressing the X button makes you crouch, so you don’t have to get on your knees to reach lower parts of the wall. I used to spray toy models, spray car doors and spray on bits of card or wood back in the day, and the realistic feeling you get in Kingspray is pretty spot. Stand far away and your spray marks come out big and bold. Step closer to your subject and you can create fine lines and add finer details in your street art. Spray to long as you start to see the paint drip down, as it would in real-life. It’s great!
The game has a variety of different environments to don your artwork over. From rooftop and warehouse walls, to courier vans and trains, there is easily enough variety here to make your mark on. Sadly, not everything in the world can be painted though. There is only a select surface or object in the environment that can be used to allow paint to. The courier van, for example, can only have one of its sides painted, which is a shame if you wanted to totally give it a pimp my ride makeover. This is only gripe if you’re wishing to go big on your creations, however there are some environments that allow you an entire huge wall to paint on, and this alone comes into its own in the game’s online mode.
Entering the lobby in the online multiplayer mode of Kingspray you get to view a TV showcase of creations from different online players. If there is anyone else online in the lobby you will see them also hanging around. From here you can chat with them or being your own or join someone else’s open online environment space and collaborate with up to three other ‘artists’. Teaming up with someone with similar skills or at least someone you know and trust is crucial here, in order to get the best enjoyment out of this aspect of the game. It’s good to just hang out with friends and be creative together.
Like in any creative application, the depth and enjoyment that you can get from it is only limited by your imagination and your ability to create. Kingspray offers a great sandbox environment to play in and I really did just enjoy spraying the truck in different colour styles. It really gave me a hint of what it would be like to give a car a pimped-up makeover without the heavy cost in paint and the means to undo and attempt my creations in many different ways.
Because you can spend plenty of time creating in this game, its developers have added a variety of different music and radio streaming stations in the game. If you prefer to add your own music, you can also do this too, but personally I liked the variety and random tracks of its radio stations, that gave the game an enjoyable ambience to create alongside.
For £10.99 for the Oculus Store, Kingspray Graffiti is a kind of application that you can easily sink many hours into. You don’t have to be an artistic wizard to enjoy its intuitive controls and have fun amongst its varied environments. It’s longevity is purely down to your own desire to create. Once you have created a masterpiece you can share it with the game’s community or save it out yourself to share, which is a nice touch. I would have liked more objects within each environment to spray on, but that’s just me wanting more than the ample of blank canvases this game already offers you. If you have a creative itch to scratch or you simply like to have fun in such a creative sandbox environment, Kingspray Graffiti is a ton of fun that you can very easily sink hours into.