Disclaimer: This game relies heavily on differentiating between colors, so gamers who suffer from colorblindness may wish to keep away from this game.
Adonis Software recently released their mobile game Watercolors for iOS devices. A color-based puzzler, the game challenges players with a unique style of challenges that require patience and a decent amount of forethought.
The gameplay mechanics are simple. Each level has a certain number of primary colors, and specific locations that need to be filled by the right colors. Players tap and drag the color of their choice, very much like a paintbrush on a painting, and follow the path provided. Players need to think ahead in order to solve these puzzles using the fewest amount of brushstrokes.
There are also goals that will require gamers to mix colors together. The color mixing is thankfully easy since players can only mix two colors together for an effect. Essentially, players will have red, yellow, and blue as their starting colors, and can create green, orange, and purple by crossing the brushstrokes. In the event that three colors mix, the space where the three colors met will instantly clear away. This is useful for clearing paths, but also increases the amount of turns taken to solve the puzzle.
The track that plays throughout the game is slow and jazzy, keeping the game lighthearted and soothing to match with the pacing of the game. In the end, however, the soundtrack isn’t a necessity of the game. Watercolors can be just as easily played on mute.
The game is quite long and offers a lot of replay value to completionists who enjoy finishing all levels with the fewest moves possible. There are six level packs in the game, each with 45 levels. These level packs are divided into easy, medium/hard, and a bonus pack with square-grid puzzles. The other three packs are locked behind a paywall, but promise more medium/hard puzzles.
There are also two different modes to play the game, including the normal “Free Play” mode. The other is a “Time Trial” mode where players need to finish as many levels as possible within set time frames of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, or 4 minutes. The levels that players solve appear to be random, keeping players on their toes.
The game is fun and challenging. It’s also easy to understand the rules of the puzzles, and the first few levels act as a very competent tutorial, offering easy levels to simply get used to the rules. Before long, the puzzles becomes very challenging, especially once players are forced to reach goals of three or more different colors. Doing so in free play, and reaching the end with the fewest number of moves proved to be difficult sometime during the second pack. Even finishing some of the levels with average numbers started to get difficult, as different levels incorporated having to mix three colors to clear away some of the paths. In the end, these puzzles will quickly start to test a gamer’s skills and limits.
I feel like I’ve seen color-coded puzzles in the past, but Watercolors still feels fresh and new. The level of challenge that this game provides is great considering the simplicity of the controls and graphics. The minimalist style kept me focused and didn’t distract me from trying to find the most efficient paths for each color.
Watercolors is available for free on iTunes, and has several in-app purchases that can extend gameplay with more levels, or offer assistance via hints for each level. All packs can be unlocked for $2.99. Otherwise, the Pro Pack can be unlocked for $1.99, while the Colors Frenzy and Crazy Grids packs can be unlocked for $0.99 each. These purchases are not necessary to enjoy the game and feel a mental challenge. Additionally, 5 hints can be purchased for $0.99.