Color Guardians Review

Krogma has stolen all of the color in the world for himself. As the Color Guardians, it’s your job to get it back.

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Color Guardians starts with Krogma taking all of the color in the world. The three Color Guardians have to get it back at any cost. They must run through an array of perilous paths to achieve this mission.

Color Guardians is a runner style game. Your main objective is to retrieve the color orbs scattered throughout the world. You’ll travel through 5 different areas to do so, and each area adds in more traps. While you have three characters to choose from (eventually) they all play the same so it’s just a matter of preference.

As you might imagine, color plays a huge part in the game. You need to switch between lanes as you collect the orbs. The color orbs come in one of four types – multi-color, red, blue, and yellow. While multi-color can be picked up as any color, the other can only be obtained when your character is of the matching color. This is accomplished with the face buttons on the controller – Yellow is on Triangle, Red is on Square, and Blue is on X.  These colors also come into play in other elements, such as the bouncing mushrooms, gates, minecarts, and springboards.

The game starts you off easy. Yellow isn’t even in the equation yet. Should you spin into an orb, accomplished by mashing the appropriate button, you’ll get a perfect. As you get further, this will lead to needing some decent reflexes to switch in time. Between the need to switch colors and lanes at a fairly fast pace, Color Guardians proves itself to be fairly difficult. This isn’t bad though, as while it may seem complicated on paper it all ends up working out wonderfully. Even in the Speed Levels where everything is sped up to a much higher pace, it all still works out.

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Then there’s the boss levels. Each area has a boss. Really, it’s always the same boss. It’s always Krogma. Each time, however, a new element is added and changed. There is always a “lead up” section to the main fight, luckily with a checkpoint between the two. This section will feature elements seen in that particular area. Once you make it to the actual fight, you’ll need to use your color switching powers to pick up bombs and throw them back at Krogma. Later fights will get even trickier, adding in things such as his barriers changing position or hazards on the course. The barriers will only fall when hit by a bomb of the same color, and of course you can only pick up the bombs when you’re the same color as the bomb. Boss fights can get quite infuriating at times, especially the final boss, but once you clear them you get that nice sense of accomplishment.

Once you beat the boss of an area, the collectibles become available. Within each level, excluding the boss, lies a Toki. Collect all of the Tokis and you unlock that area’s secret levels. These secret levels are much harder than the levels within that area. I have only completed the levels in the first area so far, and I didn’t even do so until I had started doing levels in the final area. Despite this, I was finding myself challenged just as much as those later levels. Sure, perhaps it was due to trying to collect all of the orbs with a perfect but details.

I played the PS4 version of Color Guardians so I’m not sure how this works on Vita or Steam, but the extra sounds from the controller became both helpful and a bit annoying. Everytime you die or start a level, a sound will play. The first few times it’s fine, but then you start dying over and over as you learn the various patterns until the next checkpoint. That’s when you start to hear these sounds over, and over, and over. They start to get really annoying then.

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As you collect orbs, a sound will go off in the game. Occasionally, orbs will appear shinier than normal. Collect enough of these in a row, with the sound being one of your best indicators if you’re doing so, and when you hit the final “shiny” orb you’ll get a paint splatter over the screen with a point bonus. The sound becomes a great asset to you, along with the visuals, to know how well you’re doing.

I can’t even really remember the music, perhaps because I just became more focused on the sound effects. Or perhaps because my controller kept drowning it out as I continued to die. Regardless, I just can’t really say anything as far as the music goes, just the sound effects. As for the visuals, they work fantastically. The color blind folks out there may have issues, since I was unable to find a way to have a color blind mode. I get that the game is all about color, but usually games that have a heavy reliance on color DO have a color blind mode.

So do I recommend Color Guardians? If you’re looking for a decently difficult game then yes. The gameplay is fairly fast paced and that lends into a lot of the difficulty. I enjoyed my time playing Color Guardians, though I did find that any minor distraction did tend to make it extremely hard to play.

Color Guardians Review Score

4.5/5

I would like to thank the developer for providing me with a PS4 copy to use for review.

Color Guardians is available now on PSN (Cross-buy PS4/Vita) and Steam.

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