|Posted by Gioku on June 16, 2014 at 1:45 PM|
Hello, this is guru Gioku here to review Color Zen by Cypronia for Nintendo 3DS.
Color Zen is an outside the box puzzle game, featuring shapes and bright colors. It looks and feels like an interactive abstract painting, and I really enjoyed my time with it. The first rule of a good puzzle game is its uniqueness, which this game has in spades. I can confidently say that there is not another puzzle game out there quite like this one! The best puzzle games have their own unique concept that no other puzzle game uses, and this is one of those! The concept in this game is super creative, and works really, really well.
The game's concept is a bit difficult to explain, but it works wonderfully, as I will go over in-depth in the following paragraphs.
The game's goal is to fill the entire field with the color of the border. This is accomplished by dragging shapes into each other with matching colors; and the background will fill with that color, clearing any other shapes that are also that color. As you go along, other ideas are added, such as white shapes that match any color, or black shapes that just 'delete' other shapes, and shields that protect shapes from being matched.
Now, the brilliant piece here is that, unlike other matching games, this game is not just about matching, it's about the order you match the colors in. And again on top of that, it's not just the order you match the shapes in; due to the shapes all being different, it makes a difference even how you get the shapes to each other. And that is the real innovative piece here.
Everything takes place on the bottom screen, and the presentation is very sleek and minimalist. The sound atmosphere it provides is also really cool, too! The game even encourages you to wear headphones while playing, which I found was indeed a good suggestion! The touch screen controls work without issue for the most part, though I did find the aforementioned shields to be a little bit finicky.
The game is packed full of levels, split up among our different modes. Each mode comes with 5-6 chapters, each chapter containing 20 levels, for a total of 460 levels altogether, which is a ton and will keep you occupied for quite awhile! Outside of Classic mode, the other modes of the game offer slight variations on the main concept.
My personal favorite mode was Reflection, where moving one shape causes another to move somewhere else on the field. This added a whole extra layer of thinking and required that I think outside the box and push the game's mechanics to the limit, doing things such as forcing two shapes to hit one at the same time, or timing specific movements exactly and things of that nature. It was definitely the most challenging mode in the game, but I also found it to be the most fun!
On the flipside is Serenity mode, which features easygoing, rhythmic levels. It was the easiest of the four modes, and I barreled right through it with minimal effort. However, compared to, say, Reflection mode, it was very relaxing and a nice change of pace.
In all of the modes, each chapter has a certain theme to it I found; some specific concept or orientation of shapes that is played with and progressively expanded upon in that chapter, which kept the game fresh and exciting the whole time, and I was never able to play the game without thinking. This is a game that really makes you use your brain!
Unfortunately the game does nothing as far as replayability is concerned; there is no time limit or other factor such as that to encourage you to improve your performance in the levels. Of course this is offset by the sheer volume of levels in the game; though once you have completed them all the game loses a lot of interest factor.
All in all, though, I thought this was a phenomenal game. Absolutely perfect for the 3DS platform as well; it works great in bite-sized chunks on the go. It's a very relaxing, brain-bending puzzle game unlike any other puzzle game I have experienced before, with levels that look like they could be works of abstract art. It's a very innovative idea and executed beautifully. The game is not entirely flawless, but any issues it have are very minor.
If you like puzzle games and are looking for a good challenge that'll make you think, I wholeheartedly recommend this game. It is one of the best and most creative puzzle games I have ever played, and definitely one of the best on 3DS as well. I give it a 9.5 out of 10!
Review code provided by: Cypronia