Colourshift


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Rating: 4.6/5 (110 votes)
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GrimmrookColourshiftAt first blush, Colourshift may appear to be just a slightly more colorful clone of Loops of Zen, which is itself merely a stylish update of Netwalk. Even at second blush this may still seem to be the case. It might not be until the third or fourth blush where Colourshift stands up and says in a proud and defiant voice, "HEY! I'm my own game, and even though we both came to the party wearing the same dress, I have my own style! That's right! And you know what, just because everyone laughs at your jokes doesn't mean they like you. Yeah! How about that, huh? You're just a mean and ugly person and nobody is your friend. They just act like it because you're popular!"

*ahem*

Where was I? Oh, yes, the basic mechanics are very similar between Colourshift and Loops of Zen, at least in the beginning. Essentially there is an invisible grid with all kinds of lines, some intersecting, some curving, some straight. You can rotate sections with a simple click of the mouse. The goal is to connect each of the end nodes to one of the available sources.

Colourshift begins to separate itself, though, through the implementation of colors. At first, all you have to do is worry about lining up primary-colored nodes with their associated sources. Simple. Things get in full swing, though, when you have to use that same source to blend colors, in order to light up secondary-colored nodes as well. This is where Colourshift goes from being a sad little wallflower looking wistfully at the cute action game by the punch bowl to the surprisingly awesome life of the party, who speaks its mind, is cool even if it prefers jazz to popular music, and all the other games suddenly want to dance with.

Analysis: Now listen up. I know you kids today. You like your bright, pretty little "graphics," and your fancy shmancy engineered "theme music." Well, forget it! You get none of that here. No, Colourshift is about as bare-bones as it gets and I know that's going to put some of you off.

But the rest of you get a beautifully conceived and constructed puzzler that uses color to add dimension and depth to a simple mechanic. In truth, the addition of color segregation and mixing reminds me an awful lot of Auditorium. Colourshift may not look or sound graceful, but the puzzles most definitely are, and one could argue that the lack of cosmetic enhancements serves to put focus on the strength of the gameplay. Adding to this is a gentle learning curve and customizable options that allow you to adjust levels to suit your needs. Don't want to bother with multiple colors? So be it. Want a huge puzzle with everything thrown in? Just click the appropriate boxes and you're already there.

Finally, there are unlockable achievements, so all you completionists out there can leap for joy. We have an achievements page. We must complete it.

Overall, Colourshift is not the prettiest game, but it may still take you by surprise.

Play Colourshift

33 Comments

Schmorgluck Author Profile Page April 3, 2009 1:10 PM

Heh, a journalist on a French online paper stated recently (rough translation) "When you spill a can of paint on Loops of Zen, what you get is Colourshift."

This game is sooo fun. I've been playing it for some days, and I'm currently at level 82. I plan on finishing level 200 over time. Yeah, this game makes me really feel like a completionist. Maybe I've been frequenting Kongregate for too long.

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Anonymous April 3, 2009 2:49 PM

The color combos are not intuitive.... in reality blue and yellow make green. Here it's red+green = yellow....very strange...the other 2 combos make more sense.

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@JIGuest: No, in real life red LIGHT plus green LIGHT does in fact make yellow LIGHT. ...But I will agree that most people don't know this.

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I realised as soon as red + blue didn't equal green that it was light related. It would have made more sense to do it in paint colours, but then white couldn't have been created (and mixing 3 colours to make brown isn't that attractive)

It took me a while to realise that from 20 onwards it can 'wrap' around the screen. I was stuck in disbelief as all my ideas for the previous level became wasted.

Overall it's a nice game, bit long (200 levels!?!? I only got to 22 before getting bored)

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joeynow Author Profile Page April 3, 2009 4:51 PM

Not color-blind friendly, I think... l0ser, if you're reading this, tell us what you think.

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The levels that wrap are very interesting, I like them.

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The wrapping IS what makes it interesting, IMO

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I'm not sure that the colors actually add anything to the puzzle. I'm only on level 15, but I'm solving the puzzles pretty much exactly like I solve zen-loops (or any of the other clones) and just letting the colors take care of themselves. I have yet to see a puzzle where there are two or more solutions ignoring colors, but only one of them has the colors right.

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This is great. I'd love to see it on my iphone. I think it would be great on a touch screen. And yes, it's definately (obviously?) light related, seeing as how parts get nice and fuzzy/soft like neon tubing. Not the prettiest of games, but enjoyable. I'd probably play longer if it were nicer to look at. Some games just keep my interest more that way, such as Block Drop - a nice puzzle, but if it hadn't been as polished, I wouldn't have played it as long as I did. Still, this is a good one.

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i can play maximum until level 23,
You play until which level?

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Schmorgluck Author Profile Page April 4, 2009 4:08 AM

@Kyle E. Moore
"Level 82? Are you serious?"
Actually, 84 now.

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I like Loops of Zen--very cute, fun to play, fun to return to for a quick buzz. But THIS--I love it. The addition of color is only the beginning. The addition of mixing, wrapping, well, it has turned a relaxing game into a logic puzzle and I am ALL ABOUT THAT!

To those who are at high levels--do I have to be signed in to Kongregate for it to save my progress? I have pretty much stopped frequenting that site because of the rudeness of other players there, but I don't want to lose my level!

[Edit: Sarah, just mute all chat using the control just above the chat window. It's on by default, but you can mute all chat by clicking the "x" mute button. -Jay]

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Jay--not from either of the browsers I now use! That was the only way I put up with that site, but I can't stand it for more than a few minutes now.

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Sarah - I know you're using a Mac, and I just tried muting the chat in Safari, Camino, and Firefox and it worked in all 3.

You need to wait until the chat box loads before muting. Once muted, Kongregate saves your setting for subsequent visits.

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The difficulty curve (for me) jumped like the unemployment data once it got to the point where it wraps around.

Would have prefered it reduced the number of nodes once it entered that phase instead of keeping the number the same, I gave up at that point.

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Sarah, Jay: You can't mute the chat unless you're signed in with a Kongregate account.

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I generally don't bother with games like this. I've got a small program that randomly generates network-style puzzles, and has the added feature of being able to lock squares as you solve.

The addition of color, along with multi-path squares, is a nice touch, though. I'd play it more (I got to about level 21) if there were some way to mark the squares you know are in the right position.

Maybe the author has a suggestion box lying around...

[You might try leaving a comment on the author's forums. - Psychotronic]

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Is wrapping making too hard for you?

-Use arrow keys to move the puzzle, then it is "wrapped" but you can move around and see all of the parts. Might take a taps of keys for you to get used to, but it really helps.
-If you like the challenge don't use the keys.
-I discovered it in the instructions(awe), I was actually looking for a keyboard shortcut so that you could click once to turn a piece counterclockwise instead of 3 times clockwise to turn a piece the right direction.

There are achievements instead of badges in the menu.

I find this much easier than Grid because the colors help eliminate the possibilities for error and you are not stuck if you move a piece wrong. It is more difficult than loops of zen, of course that game was meant to be relaxing. I would find this more livable for longer periods of time if the colors were not quite so bright, after a while my eyes need a break, but still a fun game and I keep coming back to it.

You of course get used to the color combos, but a paint format would be easier being that most people know how colors mix. Though if it were in a paint form there would likely be a white background so the brightness would still be there. The game has a simple way to it where a game such as BLOCKARELLI does too, but has the option of a style change. Anyways, good game.

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Seconding the request for tile marking. The model for interface features in Netwalk games should probably be Loopy from Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection.

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For Mac users who'd like more of a challenge, try pressing ctrl+option+command+8 before playing.

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@SHA: Thanks a ton for that wrapping hint! I wouldn't call it a spoiler, just a better way of visualizing the puzzle.

I've gotten to level 55 and not seen any rise in difficulty for close to 30 levels. Some are complaining about the sudden difficulty jump when wrapping gets enabled, but there's been no extra challenge since then, aside from very few "dummy" tiles per puzzle. I'm able to knock them out in 5-10 minutes each, so I do one or two in my downtime at work.

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After playing it more, I've found that the dummies are what really make it interesting, especially when they're scattered very densely in the field. Unfortunately, with normal play they only become more and more sparse, as the area of the board increases quadratically while the number of dummies increases linearly. I've found 10x10 custom games with 15 sources, 10 links, 15 dummies and color/wraparound to be quite enjoyable.

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I'm actually quite enjoying the game , I'm coming back each day to do a couple of levels or so, and I just don't get tired! So when this happens I can say it's a good game :)
My only problem is the number of levels there are. Although I'm having fun, I've got this insane obsession in finishing every level to a game I like... so it seems I'm going to be playing this game for a while...
By the way, I've gotten to level 112, and the amount of dummies (15 so far) gets me a little on my nerves, as I'd like to fit each piece in its place and make a perfect puzzle.. lol

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Well, finished at last level 200... I must add:

All you get is.... level 201!!! :|
Although I enjoyed the game all along, the last 50 levels where exactly the same, no variation in size, sources nor links, you only got one more dummy each 6 levels or so.. size 20 is the same since level 90! It's strange you can custom a level up to size 25, but in the real gameplay all you get is size 20. What really upsets me is feeling I get the game is unfinished, maybe they didn't think you would have a guy with so much time to finish all levels (which makes me feel a bit dumb) So now given you can continue playing past level 200 lets see who gets to the real end (it won't be me.. :P)

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shadowscribe May 8, 2009 2:30 PM

bummer! i was going to play to the end also. i'm currently at 137. i really enjoy this game and will still play now and then, though probably not 4 or 5 levels at a time like i have been.

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I'm actually at level 202. Where does it ends?

I thought that 200 was the last level.

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My husband has just finished level 216 and wants to know if it ever ends!!

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I have reached level 381 and I don't think it ever ends. I think it is like a card game, always the same layout, just varying the details. I like it (I also like card games) and do a couple of levels every other day or so to relax at the end of the day.

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It doesn't end. I'm on level 1125. In my defense, I play while listening to lectures online.

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No walkthrough yet, but for anyone struggling on on of the Impossible Quick plays

here's one solved. Make note of the two sources in the upper right hand corner. http://imgur.com/l9aQ2

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SteelMaiden Author Profile Page February 25, 2012 7:12 PM

@ImmorTall: I can't seem to find that setup, did you move the grid around with the arrow keys at all?

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@SteelMaiden Unfortunately yes I did, but through the other maps I played, none had the same pattern if you put the two sources in the top right corner.

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