The RYB Shooter.
Chromagun is openly an homage to that nearly 10-year-old game called Portal.
New experimental gun? Check. Physics-based puzzles? Check. Sterile test chambers? Check. A disembodied voice observing your every move? Check. There’s even an achievement/trophy that – of course – references cake.
Many doors at the ChromaTech testing facility are only opened by either standing on switches or by attracting colored spheres called ‘WorkerDroids’ to sit on switches. How do you get these droids on the switches? Well, you use the Chromagun. The Chromagun can shoot red, yellow, and blue liquid, and droids of one color are attracted to wall panels and floor panels of the same color. Also, for those who never took an art class, those primary colors can be combined to form orange, green, and purple.
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), XB1, PC
Price I’d Pay: Price $14.99
Chromagun consistently adds new mechanics around that base concept, and it’s impressive that almost every level has a little twist that makes it unique. Some of the later rooms have that attribute that you want in a puzzle game, where you mutter to yourself “WTF, there’s no way there’s a solution”. When you figure it out, it makes it that much more satisfying.
The levels, with just a few exceptions, have logic to them. By following the lines that connect the switches to the doors, you can slowly piece together what needs to be done, and what takes priority. One of those exceptions was when a WorkerDroid was hidden behind a wall, which made it hard to identify what the goal was.
Once a color has been shot at a panel, there’s no going back. One slipup at the end of a level will require a restart, which was frustrating, but necessary I suppose. Allowing you to reset panels would likely break the puzzles.
The framerate when I started playing was not acceptable, and was made worse by the curious decision to have a strong motion blur, which made me stop playing more than once due to fatigue and headaches. Fortunately, the framerate issue seems to be alleviated (still not perfect, mind you) by a pre-release patch, and the motion blur can be turned off in settings.
Chromagun is videogame love letter to Portal, with an entirely different and unique puzzle mechanic. It may have made a bad first impression in its pre-release version, but eventually won me over. It’s a game I have a lot of confidence in recommending to puzzle game fans.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.