Posted: October 7, 2014
Despite being part of the 0.5% of people who have actually beaten all the standard levels in Colour Bind, I still don't know how to feel about Colour Bind. The game looks nice enough, and I enjoy the simple graphics, but I can't deny they are incredibly simple and are probably not an enticing factor for most people. The music that's there is also quite alright, but is nothing special. Of course, this is a platform-puzzle game, and the most important factors are the platforming and puzzling. So, how are these factors?
Well... like everything else, it's a bag of mix. The game has 50 standard levels, with a fair amount of other levels and cooperative levels in the game as well. These levels, at the very least, can take a few seconds to complete. If you're good, 30 seconds for most of the later ones. Most people will only experience a small portion of the 50 for reasons I will elaborate on. Each of the games levels are quite clearly either a primarily puzzle level, or a primarily platforming level. You can easily tell this from first glance, though there is some mixing of the 2, generally, it's one or the other.
The puzzles are... poor. I hate to sound so negative, but they really are poor. They are hardly puzzles at all. There isn't really any thought required on how to solve these puzzles. As soon as you see the level, it becomes pretty clear how to solve it. On occasion there is a puzzle that may stump you a bit, but it becomes clear how to solve it very soon. The problem is solving it, which brings me to the platforming.
The platforming, oh man... well, the platforming isn't actually bad. I mean, the little 2 wheel car vehicle thing you drive feels good to drive. It makes a satisfying clicking noise while you drive, and by pressing space, the wheels expand, which makes you jump. The physics work quite well I feel, and all this combined makes it quite fun to move around. It's just a shame the rest of the game isn't made for this sort of control in the slightest.
You see, the game is made for you to constantly make tight jumps, land on small or precise areas while in low gravity, and navigate areas where a single slip up can easily make you restart the entire area. Now, this may not sound that bad, and it wouldn't be, if it wasn't for one small issue. Once you've "jumped", you can't control where your car goes. You can't control yourself in the air at all! See, you pressing your arrow keys only move the wheels of the car clockwise or counter clockwise. This tiny little thing makes so much of the game harder than it would usually be. Every single jump in this platform puzzle game needs to be thought about greatly in advance, and even after thinking about it and deciding the best place to start committing to a jump, the game still contains a rather moderate amount of randomization from the physics. One second, you could find the perfect place to start a jump, but if you try it again a second time, you could easily only end up bouncing half as high and sideways. It seems like this shouldn't be possible, but it is, and it happens a lot.
So, you have a game where the puzzles are not actually difficult to figure out, but because of the way your vehicle controls, it becomes impossible to actually do most of the puzzles without losing numerous times on them. The game is like a test of patience in a way. Think of super meat boy, but instead of every level revolving around skill, it feels like every level here revolves around luck, and I'm talking about the kind of luck that you get once you've broken 50 mirrors while walking under ladders while crossing numerous black cats. In short, you feel like the game is constantly working against you. You know what you want to do, but you can't seem to make it work.
And yet... even after all this negative criticism, I like this game. It's well made, the visuals and sound are nice, and doing stuff still feels good. It's clear effort went into this, and though some things could be improved, the game is still rather charming in its own way. Kind of like, a separate reality. I suppose you just have to take it for what it is really, and what it is, is neat. I don't think you would be missing much by not buying it, but I recommend that you do, at least when it's cheap.
There is a single person on youtube who has actually managed to speedrun the game, so I guess it must be possible to become good. But as mentioned before, the vast majority of people who buy this game will never reach the final level. Quite literally 99.5% of people in fact, so I suppose beating this game could be seen as a reasonable achievement, and the final level is actually rather neat. I won't spoil it, but it really does change your view on the game and the developer as a person, and will make you appreciate the game a lot more.
So yeah, fun game, but one that only a minority of people will really enjoy for what it is.
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