When life starts feeling a little bland perhaps it's time to go and look for some color to put the jazz back into your step, while at the same time letting you SEE where you can step in this clever free indie puzzle platformer.
Lynnea Glasser (formerly Dally) returns to the interactive fiction scene with Coloratura. Play as a displaced alien who only seeks to get away from the blind, apathetic humans and return to their place of bliss. Without the ability to directly manipulate objects, you can 'color' the humans moods to create situations beneficial to your goal. Whether dealing with them violently or more peacefully, you will get back to your resting place. Whatever it takes.
At first, it's rather easy. You have a game panel of a few colored squares and, using color affecting tiles, your objective is to change your panel to match that of the target. Then it gets progressively more difficult. Challenging puzzles plus chill music, though, always makes a good match for a game break anytime.
Who knew that the Four Color Theorem would make for such a nice simple idea puzzle game? OneFifth's Flood Fill is a fun and colorful way to fill up a coffee break, even if its 20 levels are over way too quickly. But hey, the background music is catchy.
Grab your Photonic Laser Blaster, and get ready to bring a little light to the creatures of the dark in Photon Baby, a genre-busting platformer by Jeremias Babini. Drawing inspiration from all manner of genres, Photon Baby is a unique little creation, with influences as far ranging as Laser Physics puzzles and the 16-bit classic "Zombies Ate My Neighbors". Some of the later levels get a little busy with competing inspirations, but overall Photon Baby is perfect for arcade gamers who wish Halloween lasted all year.
Retro shmup? More like Bullet Candy! An avalanche of colour and sound assaults you like a continuous rain of fireworks, but there's no time to stop and watch as 8 bosses, plus minions, are out to destroy your little spaceship. Or maybe you're out to destroy them. Score Rush requires registration before you can play, but shooter fans will find that behind the dazzling spectacle of the graphics there's a smooth, solid, and very playable game as well.
Color has you test the accuracy of your perception of color as you learn about key concepts in the theory of color and design. Simply move your cursor about the large color wheel and click when you have matched the color of the timer inside, before time runs out. Later levels have you matching multiple colors at once, giving you the opportunity to learn about complementary, analogous, ternary, and quaternary colors, all in the context of the game.
A puzzle game in which you direct streams of colored particles from lotus flowers to colored chakras, achieving totally zen-eriffic enlightenment on the way. It's quick, and perhaps a little easy, but it sure is relaxing to watch colored pixels flow across the screen. Ahhh...colored pixels.
Centered on the mechanic of changing your color to interact with different objects, Coloraze, a puzzle platformer by Colin Brown, is a simple concept done well. It's one of those works where a string of gameplay elements are introduced in the beginning, then paid off in the long run with a string puzzles that force them to interact in interesting way. Each individual level won't take too much time to play, but with a good ninety included, plus a solid number of levels made by the community using Coloraze's solid level editor, you won't be running out of game any time soon.
A new-agey, color-based puzzle game reminiscent of Auditorium, Subtle Energy succeeds in being a pretty relaxing puzzler. The soundtrack is inoffensive aural Xanax, and it is always soothing to watch colored pixel streams flow about the screen. The puzzles themselves are few, and while most are not too difficult, you will likely find that some make you stop and think.
Pong and Space Invaders are two of the most beloved old-school arcade games of all time. Ikaruga and Portal both often make the short-list of modern classics. So what do you get when you combine Pong's bouncing, Space Invader's baddies, Ikaruga's polarity shifts, and a decent dose of Portal's plotting? ReflexION by FreeSparkGames. And while it might not be included in the gaming hall of fame like its inspirations, it's a more than worthy way to pass an afternoon.
Alexey Perepechko's The Deep serves up the same scintillating experience as Boomshine while giving players a bit more control over the reactions they precipitate. The graphics and animations are colorful and atmospheric without being distracting, and the ambient soundtrack really sets the mood, especially the joyful, ethereal theme that kicks in when you complete your goal. With its pretty production and well thought-out gameplay, The Deep is a clever twist on a familiar game that fully maximizes its potential.
RADiancE is an arcade game that combines the best elements of the classic Breakout with the best elements of the classic game of Snake, but it much more than a slapdash chimera of two different classic games. The colorful neon graphics and inventive use of music and sound make for a bold, flashy presentation. And while there is more than a little bit of randomness in the gameplay, there is also enough skill required to make it interesting to arcade fans.
Color theory, sayeth Wikipedia, is "a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual impacts of specific color combinations." Color Theory is a puzzle platformer where you play a color-shifting pixel-man whose hue lets him pass through similarly colored obstacles. Both teach similar lessons: You know that red and green make yellow, green and blue make cyan, and blue and red make magenta, don't you? You should, if you want to master Color Theory.
Saturated will brighten your world with neon vector graphics and brain-challenging action-puzzles. You'll definitely never forget that red and blue make purple after your failure to apply that principle in time results in your ship being reduced to smithereens. There's a good variety in the levels here. Some levels require frantic speed to outrun a laser, others are mazes requiring exploration and backtracking, and still others are enemy-heavy.
Playing equal parts as a maze, a hide-and-seek game and a guessing game, the idea of Neon Maze is to run around a glowing labyrinth in your little blur-pod, changing colours to open up new areas, while attempting to find the exit platform. The graphical presentation and surprisingly intricate level design make this one a winner.
Though it may appear to be just a slightly more colorful clone of Loops of Zen,, Colourshift starts to separate itself when you have to start blending colors together. With a gentle learning curve, plenty of customizable options, and a page of unlockable achievements, Colourshift may just take you by surprise.
Kullors is a cute new puzzle game in which the objective is to mix and match colors to remove all the cute little kullors from each level. Matching the kullors looks super easy at first (and it is!), but the real challenge comes when you run out of matching colors (and you always do!) and must begin to mix colors to make just the right combination of kullors to clear the board.
Another competition entry that was only narrowly edged out of an award, Jewel Drop by Nick Redmond consistently received high marks from each of the four reviewers. This ear-training, color-layering game features a clean and appealing interface and a luxuriously rich soundtrack that together create a unique and original game play experience.
The online game Color Box by eyehook takes the familiar puzzle formula and tosses in a little color theory to brighten things up. Slide and drop squares of color to pile them on the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to make them vanish, but your methods will be a little different. Instead of matching like-colors you must use color theory to change the blocks to white. Fortunately you don't need an art degree to pull this one off.