Review: Slide Colors (Microsoft Xbox 360)

Slide Colors
Developer: AngelMarcos
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date 1/8/2010

Finding a good indie game in the over 700+ indie arcade games available on XBox Live can be challenge in itself. After all, these games are made by smaller developers, which means smaller budgets or less development time. The great thing is that gamers can grab a cheap title with those left over Microsoft points sitting in their balance. So that brings us to the review of Slide Colors. Is this game worth your dollar (80 MSP)?

Slide Colors is a pretty simple puzzle game to understand. It’s a lot like Tetris or Columns. The game reminded me of a 2D version of a Rubik’s Cube. There are 3 different game modes to choose from: Puzzle Mode, Time Attack, and Clear Blocks. Each mode has about 100 levels and two levels of difficulty. The puzzle mode was the one that really reminded me of a Rubik’s Cube. Basically, there is a pattern of colored squares and you have to slide colored circles into their corresponding squares. You can slide rows both vertically and horizontally, and when you slide them, every colored circle on that row moves. So you do a lot of shuffling to get them into place. It starts out pretty simple, with something like four green circles to move, and progressively gets harder with each level. Eventually you get some pretty large shapes with multiple colors to move around. All of the levels are timed, and when your time runs out, you can use one of your three continues. It sometimes gets quite frustrating when you’re close to solving a puzzle, only to lose by a few seconds. Luckily, the continue fills the timer back up and you start right where you left off. The time attack and clear blocks modes remind me so much of Columns, as it’s a simple match three to clear system. The board starts out filled with the maximum amount of colors, and you just slide the row to make matches of three colors or greater, either horizontally or vertically, no diagonal. This drops some unique circles that allow you clear entire rows if used right. The only difference with timed mode is, well… it’s timed.

The gameplay for this game was actually pretty fun considering its simplicity. I really don’t think I will be playing this again anytime soon, however. The balance was a little off, as some earlier levels seemed harder than some of the later ones. That could have just been me not seeing the pattern unfold before me quick enough, however, but this was still noticeable. This game has scores and leader boards to compete with friends, but I have no friends playing this. It even tries to make up for not having achievements by giving you awards. Alas, my friends will never know how good I am at this game.

That’s a lie. I’m not that good.

The graphics in this Slide Colors looked dated. There is nothing very innovative about them, and it looks like an SNES puzzle game. The music in the game didn’t stand out that much either. I like my puzzle games to have music that gets stuck in my head. I bet you can still hum the Tetris tune in your head right now. The sounds effects were okay and added to the gameplay but once again nothing that wowed me. I guess I can’t really expect much from a puzzle game, but even so, the presentation is disappointing.

You can stop humming now.

The Scores
Story/Modes: DECENT
Graphics: MEDIOCRE
Sound: MEDIOCRE
Control and Gameplay: ENJOYABLE
Replayability: POOR
Balance: MEDIOCRE
Originality: ABOVE AVERAGE
Addictiveness: BAD
Appeal Factor: POOR
Miscellaneous: GOOD
FINAL SCORE: A MEDIOCRE GAME

Short Attention Span Summary:

Slide Colors is budget puzzle game available as an Xbox Live Indie title. It’s quick and easy to learn, but also as easy to forget. With so many other puzzle games available, this just didn’t do it for me. If you are a puzzle game junkie, then this might be a small fix for you, and there are worse ways to spend a dollar.

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