Review: Colour Bind

The whole gaming scene feels like a little weird at the moment – we are on the brink of having major new hardware announced, and yet blockbuster games are still being released on all formats which still continuously impress the bejeezus out of we gamers.  Gaming (for me at least) has never felt so bleeding edge… And yet I find I spend more and more of my very precious gaming time sat at my PC playing games which I could probably have run on my Commodore 64 – if I could find the tape deck and position it at such an angle that the magnetic interference from the TV didn’t stop my game from loading.   Enter Colour Bind.

The game itself hobbles onto the scene like an ugly kid amongst the popular crew screaming “LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO, LET ME JOIN  YOUR GANG” – to which the popular crew sneer an unjustified sneer and go back to their Call of Duty-esque world in which all that matters is who has the biggest kill streak.  See, games like this and FTL just shouldn’t fit in. They are THE most basic unimpressive looking games you could hope to play, and yet, you do play them.. a lot.. So much so that you cant be bothered with the “run of the mill” dazzling titles which you can go pick up for a shade under £40….

How gaming looks in 2012… save this for your grandkids.

So, what’s the story – well, unsurprisingly there isn’t a story – well, not one that I could find anyway.  The premise of the game is to get your.. erm.. weird skateboard thing to the exit by cleverly manipulating gravity rules which change on the fly during the course of the level.  So basically anything colour “A” will fall in direction “B” etc.  Now, first off, this game looks (and to a large degree sounds) AWFUL but you’d be missing the charm if you judged this book by its cover as the levels themselves are where the genius lies.

The game is as you would hope (and as its name implies), quite colourful, and yet set on a boring grey background for the most part – it can be really off putting whilst playing as you wish that the game offered a little more in the eye candy department.  But having said that the puzzles and the complexity of some of the later levels (and to be fair, some of the earlier ones too) – are pure genius and require pinpoint accuracy to complete successfully – and yet they never feel out of reach – there’s a very strong “one more turn” mentality here, which if it grabs you it just wont let go.  There’s definite moments when the keyboard could’ve been thrown out the window – but levelled with equal amounts of “I WILL get it next time”.

In addition to a plethora of single player levels, the game ships with a level creator which is essentially the most complicated level editor for a 2D game I think I’ve ever seen.  But saying that, at least this means that your level of creativity is not restrained by the tools made available to you – you would just need a serious amount of time and commitment to make a level which was anywhere close to the standard of the single player levels.  If you are prepared to commit time however there’s a simple Steam Workshop upload function built into the game which means the world can play your levels at the click of a mouse.. Although, I fear the world might be over egging it slightly as at the time of writing there only seem to be 18 user made levels on the workshop – which whilst no doubt disappointing to the creators is testament to the blandness of the game and just how much time you would need to spend in the level editor to make anything that works – let alone is playable!

There is also an interesting split screen co-op mode which requires players to work together to get to the exit – but again – if you have two people together with any amount of time then, lets face it, you will likely be playing FIFA or some other multi-player game with a little more to offer than is available here, but a nice addition nonetheless.

I am trying purposefully not to be harsh here – I am a HUGE believer and promoter of indie games – especially those that try and do things a bit differently or stick their proverbial two fingers up to the gaming establishment – and this game is all of those things.  Its also painfully clear that it was made on a very tight budget and lacks any sort of wow factor that would make you want to show this to your friends or spend any real amount of time dabbling with, which is a real shame as with a bit more development time and design input this could quite easily have been a totally different game, and one which would be a no hesitation recommendation. It’s certainly got a charm and shouldn’t be dismissed just on looks alone but its hard to see how anyone would put more than a few hours into the game in reality.

For the price of a couple of pints of your landlords finest, you could do worse than this – just don’t expect shock and awe, more “oh” and “I see”

Reviewed on PC

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