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Review: Color Commando

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Title: Color Commando
Price: $1.99
System(s): DSi and 3DS
Release Date: May 2, 2013
Publisher (Developer): Circle Entertainment (Goodbye Galaxy Games)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone”

color commandoWe’re starting to reach a point where DSiWare is becoming obsolete. Sure, we still get an occasional game or application, but they’re becoming rare. Back in the old days, of 2012, I remember Thursdays where we’d see four new DSiWare games. Now, we’re down to about one a week. Fortunately, the last few have been pretty good games, and Color Commando is among the last, worthwhile adventures to pick up.

Grabbing treasure and tossing paint.

Color Commando is a game that doesn’t really have a story. Don’t take it badly, that’s the way most puzzle games go. Players control a little man who is the Color Commando. He inhabits a world where colorful, blobby monsters guard priceless treasures. His one desire is to grab that treasure away from under their noses. The catch is, it has to be done peacefully.

I’m guessing Mr. Color Commando is a pacifist, because he has no weapons. All he can do is fling paint. Which is done by the player, tapping the screen with the stylus. Placing the right color paint on top of enemies eliminates their threat and allows the Color Commando to pass by, grabbing the coins and treasure necessary to complete the level. If the player is thoughtful enough to bypass every obstacle, the Color Commando survives the level as a very rich man.

Paint splotches ahoy!

color commandoAt first, I was frustrated with the little Color Commando’s speed. That was when I was still thinking Color Commando was primarily an action game with puzzle elements. However, after the first 5 level area, I realized it is a puzzle game with action elements and his speed was actually a crucial part of the experience. The Color Commando can only move so fast, usually at about the same pace as his enemies, so timing is key when it comes to moving through an area and acquiring all treasure.

Not to mention paint usage takes quite a bit of thinking as well. It isn’t as simple as just putting pink paint on top of pink enemies. Sometimes, paint has to be put across walls to allow monsters to walk through, making it easier to avoid them. Plus, moving monsters can never be stopped by paint. They’ll just become harmless to the Color Commando when he is standing in front of the paint splotch when they pass over it.

Color Commando is a game that takes a surprising amount of thought, and I like that. However, I also like the its simplicity. All of the enemies are very distinct, it’s easy to place color and switch between shades and controls are sharp and well defined. If something goes wrong and the Color Commando is hurt, it’s my fault and not the game’s.

My only complaint, really, is that the game could use more levels. There are only 25 available in the five game worlds. I’d say the first five don’t even count, as those are the tutorial levels. Not to mention the last level in every world is one that can only be accessed if every coin from the prior levels is collected. I breezed through the entire game in about an hour, and I was trying to take my time.

Color Commando is brief, but entertaining.

color commandoIt’s really hard to find fault with a fun little puzzle game like Color Commando, especially when it’s only going to cost you $1.99. You can expect a good afternoon of fun, and that’s what you’ll get. Granted, some people, like Fire Emblem Awakening fanatics, may prefer to save their $2 for a DLC map, but people looking for a gaming palate cleanser should definitely consider Color Commando. If it had 30 or 35 levels, I’d even consider it a “must buy.” However, as is, it’s something to leave on your eShop wish list and consider whenever you have extra cash in your wallet to burn.

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