From the developers of I-Fluid; probably one of the best looking PC games I’ve ever played comes a brand new title called ColorZ for Wii. ColorZ is a WiiWare title that costs just 700 points so let’s see if it’s worth the virtual currency in my review of ColorZ for Wii.
It’s a sad thing to hear that WiiWare hasn’t really taken off as greatly as predicted; perhaps it’s because the Wii’s storage options have been given a bad name or that most titles on WiiWare are somewhat overpriced. For whatever reason the lack of interest in WiiWare shows a distinct opposite pole to that of the Apple iPhone where indie games are outselling those from well established develops. Nevertheless for those of us that do investigate the Nintendo Shop Channel now and again we already know that there are some great titles available and many of a higher quality than many third-party games available on disc format for Wii.
Now ColorZ isn’t going to win any awards but is a perfect example of a simple game available to purchase for a low price; I’m not quite sure that there is much of a story to speak of but if you’ve wanted a strangely unique and challenging game then ColorZ comes recommended. The basic premise of the game is to navigate your brightly coloured UFO through increasingly complex levels absorbing viruses that match the colour of your ship and avoiding those that don’t. If I had to describe ColorZ I’d say it was a cross between Dr Mario, R-Type and that electric buzzer game you see in Carnivals. To start with things are simple; you point your WiiRemote at the screen to lock onto your ship and then move it around like a standard onscreen reticule absorbing some viruses and avoiding the others. Now because your ship can only absorb viruses of the same colour it means that any other viruses on screen are harmful to you, when you ship comes into contact with these other coloured Virii its shields will protect you for a little while but too many hits and you’ll be destroyed. So yes it’s quite simple to start with and you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a casual title but I promise you that quite quickly you’re going to get hit hard by deviousness. Now how good do you think you’d be handling two differently coloured UFO’s through a constantly moving maze of alien disease? Well that’s what you’ll be doing as you progress; controlling one ship with the Wii Remote in one hand and another different coloured ship using the Nunchuck in your other hand.
This is where things get tricky because not only do you have to keep one eye on one ship and one on the other but you’ll have to navigate your ships through different routes whilst avoiding any other colours of Virus that are floating around. Another interesting factor is when you are required to join your ships together to form a new colour. Let’s say you have a Red UFO in your left hand a Green UFO in your right; well by pressing the B button you can temporarily join them together to form a Yellow UFO that will be able to absorb any Yellow viruses in your path. This chopping and changing can get very intense and with the level moving by itself on a set rail you’re forced to keep up, no chance of a rest here. To spice things up even further there are some interesting power up’s which will sometimes help but occasionally hinder your movements. There are colour switch pads which will transform your UFO’s colour permanently for the rest of the level and Speed Pads which will either Speed Up the flow of the level or slow it down; this can really change how easy or hard the level will continue to be. You wouldn’t think it could get any harder but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?
Time for a third UFO to be brought into the equation and this you control with the DPad whilst you continue to control the other two. Talk about tricky. You do really need a third hand and eyeball for this one but failing that some pretty decent gaming skills. If you have one or two friends feeling equally dexterous then why not invite them round because ColorZ is a crazy enough to work in offline cooperative mode with up to three players without any split screen nonsense, sadly there is no online multiplayer fun to be had here but if you found the single player mode too tough your friends just might be able to help you through.
Graphically the game is stylish but nothing to write home to your graphic loving granny about, it’s bright, colourful, slick and smooth and that’s good enough. If you like head banging music then you’re in for a treat here, if you don’t well you probably won’t mind it too much anyway because if you’re really concentrating hard enough on the UFO’s as you should be then you shouldn’t really be hearing the music all that much.
ColorZ for Wii is a fun single and multiplayer title and one I’d consider recommending to all Wii owners because of its very straightforward principle and enjoyable yet steep learning curve from basic to hardcore. I award it 8 out of 10.