Color Symphony 2 is a puzzle-platformer that has a huge emphasis on ‘puzzle’. This colorful title was developed and published by REMIMORY on June 8. The art style found throughout the game is simplistic while being sort of elegant. Coupled with this is a very fitting soundtrack. The music feels like it matches every set of levels they play during. For an indie game, it boasts quite a few features that seem fairly uncommon in similarly sized games. These features include responsive gameplay, tight controls, 120 levels, interesting level design throughout, a per-level score system, and leaderboards for those scores.
Personally, I wasn’t expecting such a polished experience but was very happy to be wrong, even if the story in the game felt nearly pointless. Maybe it’s simply because I didn’t play the first one, but I couldn’t find a reason to care about my hero’s plight. This is quickly overshadowed by the excellent gameplay. The elements in the game that make up the puzzle portion of puzzle-platformer are what set this game apart from similar titles.
In Color Symphony 2, players are asked to make their way through different colored levels while using the X, Y, and B buttons to change the background color to the corresponding color of each button, making different platforms and hazards appear and disappear. Although the colors start as blue, yellow and red, players can choose to change the colors in the options if they need to due to color blindness or other issues. Once the player has figured out how to use this mechanic, it is easy to note that when you press the button to change the color, it is instant and can be combined with another power to make multiple colors disappear at one time for a limited time. This power must be used to complete some stages, will hinder you in others, and can be used to make a few levels quite easy.
Colors aren’t only changed when a button is pressed though. There are spots of colors the player does not have access to on their controller. Normally, these colors include purple, light green, and a dark green. When these colored spots show up in a level, the player must find a way to complete the level without switching from the color from that spot or by using their ‘multiple colors at a time’ power to bypass any obstacles before the power’s time limit is up. At first, all these puzzle mechanics were jarring and difficult to complete since they require the player to focus and truly think about what buttons they’re pressing and when. I cannot stress this enough, the puzzle mechanics in this game are the harder part. The other half of the gameplay is the platforming and it may be the ‘easier’ part, but it’s no cakewalk.
Getting from platform to platform is fairly simple and straight forward, you have a double jump and you can jump off walls. Although there isn’t much variety, I found myself constantly having to figure out the perfect timings so that I could actually make my jumps. These perfect timings are what makes up most of the game. You will be playing a level, die, restart and have to practice the timings and spacing of your jumps until you finally get through unscathed. Ideally, after practicing time and time again, the one successful attempt will be fast enough to earn five stars. This is made rather frustrating at times when the difficulty seems to spike out of nowhere. This may just be my personal issue, but I found that I could complete several levels in a row and then get stuck on one for an hour before completing several more levels without any challenge. Despite this, I did manage to get five stars on all levels.
The star system is what kept me playing for such a long time. I wanted to get five stars on all the levels for myself, because I knew I could if I just kept trying. This small detail is what makes it so easy to just pick up and play ‘just a few levels’. Aiding in this little trap is the collectible hats found in the game. There are 75 of these, meaning they are in most levels. These hats are nearly always in hard to reach spots or areas that will ruin your time. Both of these elements combine to create an interesting mix of running through a level for the stars and carefully traversing the level to collect the hat.
Overall, the levels throughout the game maintain a certain creativity and ingenuity that made me appreciate the effort that the developers must have gone through to make so much from so few assets. Realistically, you’ll see the same couple of things happen over and over again. Nearly the only obstacle in the game is spinning blades while the only enemy in the game is an automated gun. Yet, even though there’s not much diversity, the game makes the best of this by using these few elements in different ways time and time again. I don’t want to be caught praising the level design too much though, as there are few levels that feel just a little gimmicky. These levels left a sour taste in my mouth but were forgotten soon after since there’s not many of them.
Color Symphony 2 was an all around blast to play and I can’t say enough good things about it. It may have an annoying level once in a while, but besides that everything works great, is fun and truly makes you feel rewarded simply for playing the game. I’d recommend it to any puzzle-platformer fans looking for a challenge.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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