Coloropuss – Review

A review of Coloropuss I wrote for the website

So, top ten video games that have an octopus in them: Parodius. Metal Gear Solid 4? Bit of a stretch that one. Alright, so there haven’t been that many good video games with an octopus in them to fill out a Top Ten. And you know what the problem is? Coloropus has an octopus in it but is well outside of that Top Ten.

Coloropus is a puzzle game with a bit of point and click adventure game mixed in for good measure. You are an octopus who’s octopus girlfriend has been kidnapped (octo-napped?) and stuck in a bottle so you have to go off to rescue her. Everything looks nice with a decent art style, so far so good.

The puzzles come in a combination of ways but mainly through colour; there are coloured balls throughout the level either through plants in the water or in some creatures. When you collect one of the colours you turn into that colour, but you can collect two colours at a time which means that you can mix things up by collecting a yellow which would make you orange.

A basic example of this is the coloured rocks that you need to destroy in order to access new areas. This isn’t just your basic colours though; if you know how to make teal then Coloropus is a game for you.

The problem is that all of these puzzles and exploration are tempered by the controls. You basically click on a part of the screen and your octopus moves there but as this is in water you drift around due to your momentum. This is painfully frustrating in some puzzles that require you to remain still as you try to shoot at an enemy swimming around. Or try to pick up and move an object. Or doing anything.

This is the problem with Coloropus; it has a lot of good ideas but it’s constantly tripping itself up. It’s never easy to play, never fun to play, it soon becomes either a chore or you wander around aimlessly trying to figure out what you have to do next.

Or you die and then the annoying levels get cranked up a notch; there is a good/evil system in the world whereby if you disrupt plants and such then you get an evil rating. If you plant seeds to grow plants you become good. The system feels arbitrary, you could just bump into a plant and that makes you more evil. This is compounded when you die as you have to complete a puzzle to return to the game: if you are good then you go to Heaven and have a fairly simple puzzle; if you are evil then you go to Hell and are given a tough puzzle. It is, on paper, a good idea but the Hell puzzle is so frustrating that you just want to remove the game from your computer as soon as feasibly possible and never play the game again.

That pretty much sums up Coloropus; a good idea hamstrung by its own execution. One for octopus completists only.

Two stars out of five

Originally published May 2nd 2012


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