Developer: Pixel Maniacs
Publisher: Pixel Maniacs
ChromaGun is a first person puzzle game where you are a test subject that uses colours to solve your way through the ChromaTec testing chambers.When I first started playing, I got a Portal vibe from the game, probably because of the testing facility theme, and being immediately armed with a ChromaGun, but that’s about where the similarities between the two games end. Your main objective throughout the game is to open the exit door and move on to the next room, and there isn’t much of a story.
So, you’re in this testing facility, and your gun shoots three primary colours (red, yellow, and blue), and you can also mix colours to form secondary colours orange, green, and violet. You use your ChromaGun to shoot colours onto walls, droids and sometimes on the ground, in order to attract nearby droids of the same colour. By positioning them correctly, you’ll get the doors to open.
- graphics are simple, but decent (similar to Q.U.B.E. with all the white-walled rooms)
- sound effects and music are good
- voice acting for the narrative is done well, and it’s amusing at times (similar to Quantum Conundrum with far less dialog)
- interesting puzzle mechanics with mixing colours is straightforward, but still enjoyable if you aren’t looking for too much of a challenge
- speedrun mode available
- puzzles are too easy for those looking for a challenge, which leads to the game being a bit short (some more complex levels or larger rooms where not everything was on the same floor could’ve been neat)
- the colour brown doesn’t work to attract the brown droids, like the other colours – it seems that it’s intended, but I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind it, since there’s no way to undo colours once you shoot them, so if you accidentally turn things brown you might have to restart the level (it’s not a big deal, but still a minor nuisance)
- small annoyance with the loading screen between levels being before you even get to the door where you have to wait anyway; could also do without the special loading screen
- some of the voice lines get repeated when you restart the level, which is fine for the most part, as long as you don’t restart too frequently
The game starts off very easy, and it gets slightly more challenging as it progresses, but only a small handful of puzzles near the very end actually made me have to stop and think about what to do. Even then though, it was more of me trying to get the droids in the just right spot by colour changing at the right time, rather than actually having to figure the puzzles out. There are some levels that are timed, where you will burn to death if you mess up, and normally, I’m not usually a big fan of timed events, but these levels easy as well, and just took a couple attempts to solve.
The game took me about 3 hours to complete, and I don’t feel the need to replay it, but there is a speedrun mode available for those who are interested. The gameplay is smooth, and I did enjoy the puzzles even though most of them were pretty easy, but I would have really liked to have had some flexibility in how you can go about solving puzzles, or even just more complex level design to make the game more challenging. If you’re interested in some puzzle gameplay with simple mechanics, you will probably enjoy ChromaGun, but keep in mind that it is a short game, and easier than games like Q.U.B.E. or Portal.
Review copy was provided by the developer.