The game Color Zen provides what it says in the title – a nice, calm feeling, and all around it is a very happy game to play. Color Zen is good for a brief sit down and play session, and can provide a lot of fun for a long time as well. It is basically a perfect fit for the portable, short burst Nintendo 3DS when you want something on the go or to simply pass a few minutes with.
The idea is to make a simple, relaxing, but thoroughly enjoyable puzzle game. We enjoyed it well enough when Nick reviewed Color Zen on Wii U – but now we take a peek at it on Nintendo’s handheld system.
There is not much to say about the graphics, but basically they are vector graphics, nice and simple, but crisp and they work well for what the game needs. Each geometric shape is comprised of a solid color arranged into patterns that are sometimes random-looking in their layout, but at other times look as though they are meant to be arranged like a picture. Aside from these shapes however, there is little else visually to the game. Do not go into this expecting detailed textures or fancy menus tht have a rather muted, simple look to them.
Sounds are very calm and serene, with the background music being composed of simple soft synth music, and is very nice to listen to. While the visuals are certainly simple, it is the music that perhaps best exemplifies the ‘Zen’ in the title. When colors matched are matched, they make a nice bell noise that is surprisingly never annoying, and it never overpowers the pleasant soundtrack.
The gameplay here is very simple, but makes Color Zen easy to learn and very accessible to any . The main idea is to make the background color the same color as the outline of the background. You do this by combining different colored shapes, and making sure that the last shape you combine is the color that you need. Now on paper, this sounds very easy, and at first, it is! But then they’ll add in more complicated puzzles that have more intricate steps to succeed. It will start with just adding more colors and shapes on screen at once, and then escalate into colors that remove shapes without coloring the background, and colors that copy shapes, and before long you end up with multiple shapes of multiple colors inside of other shapes, and have to do in the exact right order or you mess the whole thing up and have to start over.
Before long, Color Zen gets very tricky very quickly, but it never gets boring or aggrivating. There are also four different game modes, each with 120 levels. Now, granted, three of the modes are basically the same, just visually different, with puzzles are different. The most unique mode is the Reflection Mode, in which both sides of the screen have a shape being moved, so if you move one, others will move too. This is easily the most challenging, but also rewarding style of play.
This game is really fun, but it is not much more than something you would find on an App Store. I would actually recommend picking it up for your 3DS if this style of puzzle game appeals to you, because Color Zen is very inexpensive and with 480 levels, has plenty of content to keep you busy for quite some time.
This is a fun, laid back puzzle game that is perfect for the 3DS and feels slightly more at home on this system than on the Wii U console. If you are looking for deep RPG mechanics and quick twitch shooting adventures, Color Zen is not for you. If you are looking for something with a decidedly slower pace and peaceful sense of satisfaction however, Color Zen is easy to recommend.
Review by Chris