When the evil Krogma drains the land of its color, it’s up to Rod, Lia, and Gronk to restore the world to its former glory! These three color guardians must gather the shattered orbs which have been strewn around their homelands and beyond before they face down Krogma for good and put an end to his evil, monochromatic ways. Our heroes race along in a side-scrolling three-lane adventure to right the balance of power and release the world from the grip of Krogma.
The world of Color Guardians is broken up into several zones, each with ten main levels and a boss level. One of the ten levels is a special speed level where the orbs are more plentiful, the obstacles are more troublesome, and your character must be that much more nimble to navigate successfully. The game does a good job of explaining how the controls work, what the levels are going to look like, and how to earn the highest scores in each zone. With essentially six buttons to use and a whole slew of tricky manoeuvres to make, Color Guardians relies heavily on reflex, quick thinking, and planning ahead.
Some orbs can only be collected when your character is a certain color while others can only be collected while you’re in a certain lane. Planning the route you’ll take while hurtling through the course is no easy task, but some areas require you to pay close attention as any misstep sends you back to your last checkpoint. Some challenges may seem nearly impossible to overcome, but as you repeat that section over and over again, you fall into a rhythm where the color changes seem to happen almost naturally. Pretty soon you’ll be spinning through the levels with ease. And then, of course, the next zone will be completely different!
Upon defeating Krogma in a zone, the player is presented with the option to press ahead into the next area or go back and prove their skill by re-completing the levels they’ve already been through. The reason for this is that now each level contains a taki; a small fairy-like animal who wasn’t keen on hanging around when the world was colorless. If the player replays the entire zone and finds the taki in each level, they unlock a few bonus levels in that area and can earn more orbs, more stars, and more bragging rights. It’s small additions like this which round out an already fun game nicely.
Obviously the player can also choose to replay a completed level at any time, whether to try and earn a higher star count or even a perfect score. Though the player can also change characters as they please (once they’re unlocked), there is no difference other than cosmetics. Character choice was one missed opportunity by developer Fair Play Games as giving Rod, Lia, and Gronk special abilities would have added another layer to the game as well. Still, Color Guardians runs pretty smoothly even without that addition.
Like any platformer, some levels will have you raging at your computer screen. The background details can sometimes block your view, which makes it hard to tell where your character needs to be in order to avoid certain death. However, these instances were few and far between and mostly the game had a nice level of difficulty. The player is able to challenge themselves by attempting to get a perfect diamond star on each level or simply squeak by and move onto the next area. Overall I felt that gameplay was smooth, the level design was well thought out, and the story was cute without being cheesy. Color Guardians is a fast paced game that will certainly keep you coming back for more!