Platform reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Also on: Steam
A platform puzzle game should incorporate a few key aspects to make it a good game: robust level design, scaffold learning of new mechanics, and unique elements that set it apart from other games. Colored Effects hits on almost all these elements. It’s a solid game worth picking up if you want something new on the Switch. And it helps that it’s priced at just $4.99.
Colored Effects excels in its platforming gameplay, showcasing a solid-level design and incorporating distinctive mechanics that distinguish it from other games. Despite its simple visuals, the game embraces its identity and delivers a decent experience. The objective is clear - navigate the character through each level, collecting colored diamond keys to unlock doors to progress. To obtain these diamonds, I needed to step on corresponding color splats to activate special abilities: blue enables a double jump, yellow grants a dash ability, red allows for throwing fireballs, and purple for phasing through walls. While the first two colors are introduced early on, the red and purple abilities are introduced later in the game.
The levels in Colored Effects are well-crafted, occasionally presenting challenges that require some thought. However, by observing the placement of color splats, I figured out the solution to these puzzles. This often involves obtaining the yellow splat to dash across large gaps, grabbing the blue splat for a double jump, and ultimately reaching the diamond key. The key lies in determining the order to activate these techniques. The game also introduces elevators, traps, and other mechanics early on, enhancing the overall design and challenge.
The controls in Colored Effects are responsive and precise, which is crucial for executing precise movements. The controls always felt smooth, whether double jumping onto platforms or dashing to avoid hazards. I only had myself to blame for any mishaps during my run.
One pleasant surprise in Colored Effects is the inclusion of boss fights, which sets it apart from other platformers. The first boss appears within the first three levels, and defeating them relies heavily on the tight controls. Overcoming these bosses often requires trial and error, as I needed to learn their attack patterns and adapt to new mechanics introduced during the battles.
However, one drawback of Colored Effects is its lack of explanations for newly introduced mechanics or features. For instance, I encountered a challenging boss early in my playthrough that required a new mechanic to defeat it. Unfortunately, the game failed to provide instructions on how to use this feature, resulting in numerous deaths. Eventually, I discovered the mechanic's function through trial and error, and in doing so, the boss fight was considerably more manageable. This aspect of the game was frustrating and could have been avoided by introducing these elements at an earlier level.
Final Grade: B
Overall, Colored Effects is a solid platform puzzle game that offers a unique gameplay experience. Its well-designed levels, precise controls, and inclusion of boss fights make it a worthwhile addition to the Switch library. The lack of scaling of the challenge and explaining new mechanics was frustrating, but I never quit playing because of it. However, priced at just $4.99, it's an excellent choice for players seeking something fresh and engaging.
Review code provided by Flynn's Arcade