Color Switch is a game about matching colors, this is true, but it’s also a game about skill; and strategy; and reflexes; and so on. The core concept involves moving a colored dot through various obstacles with a matching color, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Over 20 different game modes use this basic idea to varying degrees of effectiveness – and with a surprising amount of variety.
No Mixing, Just Matching
The general rule of (almost) every game mode in Color Switch is “same color = good, different color = bad.” The controls and play style may change, but this core concept is present in all but one of them. There are way too many to cover them all, so here are the 10 that stand out the most.
Default/Endless – Tap to make the colored dot “jump.” Pass through obstacles with matching colors, and see how many stars you can collect
Challenges – Similar to the default endless mode, but each level is prefab and has an ending
Slide – drag left and right to slide the dot around, avoid obstacles, and make it to the finish
Control – tap to reorient obstacles as the dot steadily moves up along the screen
Turn – control the orientation of a single obstacle as dots approach from the edges of the screen. Match color with color to clear them
Shoot – tap to fire a dot at the obstacle in front of you. Time it right to clear part of the obstacle with the matching dot
Line – similar to Challenges, only the dot moves along a dotted line that twists and turns all over the screen. It’s also being chased by another hazard, so you’ll need to work fast
Spin – tap to launch the dot off of a spinning circle, trying to land on other like-colored spinning circles
Black & White – the only colorless (technically) game mode. Similar to the default mode and Challenges except everything is black and white, and obstacles are defined by what stands out over the background rather than as opposites (i.e. white avoids white)
Gravity – similar to Challenges, except that the dot will sometimes pass over directional arrows that both change its color and change the level’s gravity
Color Swap’s greatest strength is just how much variation it offers players. If you don’t like a particular game type, there’s a good chance there are at least a few others that will pique your interest.
Tap to Match
Truth be told I didn’t have particularly high expectations for Color Switch. I didn’t think I would hate it, but I also didn’t think it would hold my interest for long. Lucky for me I’m a fan of pie – because humble pie, get it? Let’s just move on…
The central mechanic of Color Switch is to simply tap to pass a colored dot through a series of obstacles in order to get a high score or make it to the finish line. The trick is that the dot can only pass safely touch something that has a matching color, and the dot is ever-changing.
It’s a simple enough idea that successfully takes the popular one-tap style games of skill that have become popular on mobile, and adds a few interesting wrinkles to the formula. You can pick up Color Switch and immediately get into it, with no need for extensive tutorials or anything like that; even when you factor in the additional 20+ (yes, 20+) game modes.
About the only thing that gets in the way of all this is the ads. They don’t pop up all the time, but they do appear often enough to be irritating. Especially seeing as most of them are video ads. Failing (or even succeeding) a level only to have to wait for a “skip” button to appear before you can get back to playing is fairly off-putting.
So Many Choices
The default game mode in Color Switch is a sort of endless game of jumping and skillful timing. Try to grab all the stars you can, and play for the highest score. Pretty much every other game mode builds off of this basic idea, with some pulling it off better than others but I wouldn’t call any of them a waste.
Some modes change the direction of the dot’s movement as you play, while others will switch up its color more often (such as automatically after a few seconds or simply after hitting an object). Some modes put you in control of the obstacles themselves instead, and task you with reorienting them as quickly and accurately as possible.
All of this variety creates a couple of issues, though. The first, and perhaps the one that’s the most difficult to avoid, is the difficulty variation between modes. Some are significantly easier than others – both due to a combination of less forgiving timing and a need to completely switch up the way you think about what you’re doing. Going from any mode to Black & White is particularly tough as it’s the only mode in the entire game where you actually need to avoid like-colored objects. Black & White is probably my favorite mode, honestly, but it’s really difficult to switch gears like that.
The other problem is that the menu isn’t particularly well suited to changing modes. If you’re playing a particular mode, then decide to play a different one, you can back out to the Game Modes menu easily enough – but it always defaults to the top of the menu. This wouldn’t be so bad if not for the fact that there are over 20 different modes, and the screen only displays a handful at a time. So if you decide you want to play something that’s further down the list, you have to scroll through everything. If you want to change again, you have to scroll through everything again, and so on.
Color Me Surprised
Aside from the mildly annoying ads and the tedium of scrolling through all the different modes, Color Switch is a really good time. It’s almost like a greatest hits compilation of popular arcade-style mobile games, with the added twist of color-matching. There’s something for just about anybody.
– Review by Rob Rich
(Android – For most Android based phones and tablets.
See download page for specific requirements.)
(iOS – For most iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices.
See download page for specific requirements.)