Review: ColorZ

Earth’s Environmental Protection Agency is way behind the times. While we’re desperately trying to utilize new technologies to clean the planet, the world of ColorZ has successfully developed flying saucers that absorb harmful toxins. The downside is that the pollution varies in color, and absorbing the wrong color will literally electrocute the pilot to death.

The gameplay of ColorZ is, initially, very simple. You will use the Wii Remote’s pointer to guide a colored flying saucer through a maze of bubbly pollution, collecting similarly-colored bubbles and avoiding any that are different. As you absorb bubbles, your score will increase; if you hit a harmful bubble, your ship will be zapped and you will lose a life. Situated throughout the stages are colored discs that, when touched, will change the color of your aircraft so you can absorb a different color. The goal is to complete the level with the highest score possible.

However, ColorZ doesn’t stay that simple for long. With the second level comes a second saucer which you must also guide through the mazes of pollution. So now you are not only collecting colored bubbles with the saucer controlled by the pointer, but you are also collecting differently-colored bubbles with the Nunchuck-controlled saucer.

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Yet, Exkee didn’t think that was hard enough. A couple stages later, a third saucer is introduced which, yes, you will also control, this time using the Wii Remote’s d-pad. Controlling two saucers was difficult enough, but keeping your eyes on three separately-colored saucers at one time, all utilizing different control schemes and absorbing specific bubbles, is a task that becomes near impossible without regularly steering the friendly alien environmentalists to their shocking death.

As the stages progress, new colors of bubbles are introduced, which will not match any of your saucers. So, you must collide two of your ships into each other, and their respective colors will combine into a new color (a red ship colliding with a blue ship, for example, will turn the ship purple). This sounds easy on paper, but the complexity of controlling three crafts simultaneously makes combining colors tedious, especially if the bubbles are coming at you quickly.

Graphically, ColorZ is a mixed bag. The saucers, and the aliens piloting them, sharply contrast the otherwise smooth visuals, which is a shame because the art direction is certainly unique at times. The attention to detail in everything from the menu screens to the flowing bubbles and the scenic backgrounds are nice to look at, but the very things you are controlling, and thus paying a lot of attention to, simply don’t fit in.

The audio, on the other hand, is well done throughout the game. Absorbing bubbles triggers a satisfying pop, and the soundtrack features soft techno that doesn’t ever become annoying.

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Closing Comments:

After struggling through the singleplayer levels, it quickly became obvious that Exkee intended ColorZ to be played with one or two other players. In multiplayer, each player uses their own Wii Remote, and navigating the pollution becomes much easier when you only need to focus on a single craft. Thus, for 700 points, ColorZ is simply not worth the aggravation if you plan to play alone, but if you have friends or family to play with, ColorZ may be worth a try if the premise intrigues you.
score2.5
Version Reviewed: Wii