STAFF REVIEW of Color Symphony 2 (Xbox One)


Friday, June 17, 2016.
by Mandi Jennings

Color Symphony 2 Box art Color Symphony 2 is an intriguing puzzle platformer that seems simplistic for it's namesake - reading the title, I was under the impression that this game would have a multitude of colors to go along with a beautifully orchestrated musical composition. In reality, it may not be as elaborate as it's title lead me to believe, but it does capture several different elements that lead to a unique experience. The elements here, of course, are color, catchy music, a bit of friendly leaderboard competition, and just a dash of story.


The three different colors play a pivotal role in this game, allowing you to switch from either a blue, yellow, or red background. Players use this background switch to neutralize or "hide" certain obstacles and/or platforms on each level, most notably spikes and saws. For example, a red obstacle will not show up on a red background, yet will show up on a blue or yellow background. Players will need to develop a plan of which backgrounds to switch to at any given time.

You'll find that there is also an extra power that allows the player to remove certain color obstacles for a limited amount of time. Keep in mind the color of the platform you're standing on, though! Just like the obstacles, the platforms will also disappear with a similar background color. The only saving grace from this are the black objects - these stay put regardless of the background, whether they're platforms, obstacles, etc.

Each level is timed, and at the end of each level they give you a leaderboard of Xbox Live players, showing you exactly where you rank and with what time. This increases the replay value of the game, or perhaps I should say the replay value of each level, as you'll be playing it over and over trying to hit the top of the leaderboards, which in turn does make the game feel longer.


Quite frankly, as much as I wanted to follow the fanciful and endearing story about "a man returning to his world to reclaim all he has lost", I found it to be distracting past the first few levels, as each level is timed, and the puzzles get quite a bit more difficult as you move through the second chapter. It's clear that the focus of the creators was on being able to quickly and easily transition between levels, which explains the narrative being scrawled on the backgrounds of certain levels, but perhaps it would have been easier to follow if the text was shown between levels. Remember, the levels are indeed timed, so chances are you'll be wasting a run through the levels with text just trying to read it!

As far as the music goes, it's catchy and serves as great background noise (let's be honest - our attention is so focused on timing our jumps and button presses JUST SO that you forget there's even music playing). The delightful death crunch anytime you miss a platform, or jump into one of the spinning wheels of death, almost makes up for how often you'll do it.


Overall, Color Symphony 2 plays like the majority of puzzle platformers, with the exception of the unique color switching process to really tune your hand-eye coordination. The leaderboard will leave you wanting to play each level over and over again until you at least score in the top ten, and I can guarantee that the difficulty as you progress will give you plenty of time with this game. It's definitely nothing "game changing" (see what I did there?), but for the $9.99 price point, it's worth the purchase.


Suggestions:
Add the narrative to the beginning of the levels! This will allow players to read and process the story, as opposed to the background text being lost amidst trying to rush through the level for the best time.


Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.5 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10

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