It isn't often that a game comes around that you can simply stare at, Coloropus is new game from Pigsels that doesn't fill your head with meaningless story and exposition, it tells you a simple narrative with a big heart that no words need explain.
It’s the timeless tale, floating around much in love; life couldn’t get much better for Coloropus and Pinky, until one day, goofing around she is suddenly ripped away from her partner, trapped in a bottle and thrown away. This is where your journey begins, and it's up to little Coloropus to find and save her so that the two of them can live happily ever after. However this is one yarn without words, and everything is driven through the games’ visuals, get ready for no text, no dialogue, just bundles of cute gameplay.
If it is possible, the game breaks records for its cuteness, even the serial key entry screen is adorable, and if it’s not the giggle-worthy idle animations, it’s the innocently drawn speech bubbles that explain all of the action in the game that will have a smile brimming on your mouth before you even realise it. Its cute factor is definitely helped by its visuals which are absolutely beautiful and the hand drawn locations and creatures just excel the game into heights of simplistic perfection.
The main mechanic of the game centres around coloured pearls that affect the hue of Coloropus, he can absorb a maximum of two that will mix together, depending on the colour he becomes you can then shoot balls of ink to destroy the corresponding colour of obstacles and enemies, for instance you'll have no luck destroying that pesky blue fish with purple ink, you need to ditch the red pearl in order to get him out of your way.
As an adventure game, Coloropus is rife with puzzles all centred around the concept of colour, and so knowing the basic colour mixes is key, amongst the primary colours; red, blue and green you'll find teals, lilacs and even khaki as you progress through the story, however thankfully there is little colour mixing involving these on a grand scale, and most puzzles will involve simple colour mixes like red and blue makes purple, or red and yellow makes orange.
Swimming around in the tranquil care-free ocean will not save Pinky, and unfortunately you will be literally thrown into the deep end as soon as you begin your quest. This game gets hard, fast, and it is completely uncompromising, do not let its innocence fool you, you will be eaten, shot, electrocuted and even licked to death on many an occasion. The key is not to give up hope too early on, as the learning curve from the paddling pool you begin in to the wide scary ocean is very steep, but after a few deaths, destroying your enemies with coloured ink, and evading the dangers below water will become second nature to you.
Every creature in the ocean is empathic to your plight, and you'll make many little friends to aid you along the way such as the wise old turtle, these underwater folk are vital to your adventure, and in finding them certain objects they will help remove blockers that are stopping you from saving the day.
Though a surprising addition to the game, the bosses work very well in Coloropus, and if you have learnt how to use your surroundings, how to mix colours and are a good little octopus, you'll fly through them with no problem! The upgrades system is another feature that whilst unexpected works very well, allowing you to become one tough little Octopus if you keep your eye open for the special coloured glass balls .
Now despite how it looks, Coloropus is an adventure game through-and-through, and you may get stumped at certain points throughout the game, whether it’s how to kill a boss, or how to get to the other side of the screen there is a handy little help button in the corner of the screen that will allow Coloropus to give you a hint on your current objective and how to fix it, again portrayed with adorable cartoons in speech bubbles.
Morality is huge in games, and it even plays its part in Coloropus, if you want to be an evil little Octopus you can go around pulling defenceless plants out of the soil, blast innocent fish with your ink and be a general all-round bastard, or, you could be a kind octopus planting new pearls to spring into new life. This all has bearing in the game of course, and when you succumb to death at the jaws of a particularly nasty fish you'll be sent to your respective domain; heaven or hell, where you must solve a puzzle to free your soul from its afterlife and get back on the quest to save Pinky!
In abstaining from using text in the game, a conventional save system is not used, and instead an autosave is made when you enter a location, which is extremely handy and stops you from having to repeat sections after death. However the only problem this can pose is if you manage to get an object stuck in the game, you'll have to restart the game all over again, as the object in question will be saved at that position as soon as you leave the screen.
Coloropus is a stunningly adorable and challenging game, whilst its colour puzzle do not get as tricky as you might like, Pigsels have made a thoroughly enjoyable, and accessible game for all, unless you're colour-blind of course, then unfortunately this may not be the game for you. If you want to play a game away from the death and destruction of mainstream gaming, Coloropus will definitely put a smile on your face 5/5.
If you aren’t a big fan of digital distribution, then you can get a special retail edition of Coloropus that comes complete with a cute poster, and the beautifully chilled out soundtrack.
Coloropus is available now in all good retailers for the SRP of £14.99 and online distribution channels for £9.99, if you manage to save Pinky, a new episode in Coloropus’ tale is promised at the end, here’s hoping that our little octopus will see the light at the end of the tunnel!