Developer Pixel Maniacs brings us ChromaGun. A simple paint gun puzzler that shares some similarities to that Portal game. On the surface it may look simple but this game will challenge you. So I put on my VR headset, charged up my aim controller and tried to remember my primary colours!
You are a test subject tasked with testing the new ChromaGun in different rooms across different levels. Your weapon of choice shoots different coloured paint balls at walls to change their colour. Pair this with WorkerDroids that can also be painted and you have the basics of this game.
The visuals are pretty simple in this game but it all works. The majority of the artwork is plain white walls that are just asking to be painted. I enjoyed playing it with the aim controller. There isn’t any real need to use the aim controller but it just adds a bit of fun to the game.
The tutorial starts you off with just Yellow paint at your fingertips. Each room in the tutorial introduces you to a new game mechanic. As you progress, more challenging puzzles await until you are working with blue, yellow and red paint options. You are looking at around 6 hours to complete the game. Depending on your puzzle-solving skills you might be able to blast through quicker.
Two items of the same colour are attracted to each other. Paint a WorkerDroid red and it will be attracted to any walls you have painted red. This is the principle behind moving items around the level and solving puzzles. Shoot that red WorkerDroid with blue and you now have a purple ball that is attracted to purple walls. Once you have mastered your primary colour mixing, don’t worry there are plenty of blank walls to test on, the game really starts to challenge you.
Progression to the next room is behind a locked door that will normally require you to move a WorkerDroid from one location to over an activation pod. Some doors require multiple switches to be covered. The challenge comes from working out the order in which to paint walls and the WorkerDroids. Pick the wrong base colour and you won’t get the mix right for the next step. Use too many colours and you will get a dark grey colour that is no use to anyone.
More obstacles are introduced as you complete rooms. Walls that clean off paint after a short period of time, as well as rooms with electrified floors and fire. These added elements are really what give ChromaGun that added level of hardness. Figuring out the right path to take your WorkerDroid on through a maze of traps is where this game is at its best. Be prepared to have to restart levels as you try different options before you find the correct one.
However, difficult spikes seem to just hit you out of nowhere. You can go from a simple room that wasn’t a challenge at all to a puzzle that will take you 8 attempts to complete and push your limits. Once you figured it out though, that fantastic feeling of solving the puzzle never got old! I will say that I never felt like quitting the game, it keeps a good balance of challenging you but not handing levels to you.
Loading screens for each new room do become noticeable after a few rooms though. They are never too long but due to the number of rooms in this game they do lean on the more frequent side then I would have liked.
Don’t let the simple appearance fool you, there are some really challenging puzzles in this game. It doesn’t over complicate gameplay but I never found myself bored. ChromaGun does what it does well. I wanted to get to that next room, complete the puzzles the first time and also wanted to paint the rooms in every colour!
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*