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Indie Spotlight: Coloropus Review

I’m a sucker for romance/adventure stories. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl gets kidnapped, and boy must save her and earn her love. Pigsels Media’s Coloropus, at it’s most basic, is a story about a young male octopus who has to save his beloved (who has a knack for getting snatched away). Think of it like a puzzle/adventure Mario and you get the idea.

If you look deeper though, you’ll find a fairly challenging, fun, and unique puzzle-adventure game in Coloropus.

It’s easy to pick up and start playing, yet it also takes some time to learn the intricacies of the game. It’s colourful and visually appealing and is a great game for all ages. It also takes a couple of chances with some of it’s game design that, while some hamper the game somewhat, most of the design choices are sound and somewhat come together to create a unique adventure.

Coloropus’ gameplay consists of clicking with the mouse and dragging to float Coloropus from screen to screen as players solve simple to intermediate puzzles. It’s within these puzzles that the game shines. Coloropus must use colors to defeat his enemies and solve puzzles in order to reveal power-ups for the blue hero. While the controls mostly work, there are times when a click or a drag just doesn’t apply on-screen and affects gameplay. But that’s few and far between.

To defeat his enemies, Coloropus must eat colored bubbles that, when combined, make all new colors that he can fire ink bubbles at his enemies with the right mouse button. Players can pick up items in the environment by clicking and holding the left button, and is used for many a puzzle in the game.

And yes, the game can be quite challenging at times and will result with Coloropus dying a number of times. However, because of the game’s morality system, which in my opinion is handled much better, and much classier than many other big games out right now, makes dying in-game a blast. Basically players’ actions and decisions made throughout the game affect their morality standing, good or evil, in their quest to save their pink octopus girl. Once Coloropus dies, the player must solve a one-off puzzle to get his soul back into the body to once again continue the adventure.

Coloropus doesn’t have voice-overs or text to guide players throughout the adventure. Instead, the game uses thought bubbles and emoticons to relay clues and information to the player. Now, this can work for or against the game. Some people who played the game with me did not like this feature whatsoever and preferred to have textual instructions instead. I can understand where they’re coming from as I found myself confused as to what to do next at certain parts of the game. I also found that the emoticons and pictionary approach at times just didn’t give enough information to go on. However, even with it’s issues, I thought this as a unique and novel feature that positively set the game apart from its contemporaries.

I especially love Coloropus’ daydreams in which he thinks of all the fun things he and his lady friend can do after he saves her valiantly. It’s these small touches that really helps the game pull players into the basic, yet relatable story and give the game its unique charm.

PROS

+ Unique, colorful, and visually appealing
+ Relatable and fun main character and supporting characters (Turtle)
+ Simple to intermediate puzzles that keep players on the move
+ Genuinely funny and emotional at certain points
+ Non-verbal, non-textual instructions and narration

CONS

– Non-verbal, non-textual instructions and narration
– Some enemies can be brutally hard
– Controls can be frustrating at times

I can’t say enough about the Coloropus’ colorful and light-hearted presentation. It offers players a unique puzzle adventure game that doesn’t hold their hands and instead gives hints to actually get them to think for themselves. I did have some issues with the controls, enemies, and hint system, however, those did not stop me from playing through Coloropus. There’s something about it’s basic, yet relatable story that kept me going regardless of its design issues.

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on May 29, 2012, in Indie Spotlight and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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