For most of us, the relationship between colours was part of our formative years of education. From mixing paints, we know that blue and yellow make green, and red and yellow make orange. Learning the different combinations of colours is a simple act of discovery for a child that sticks with us throughout our lives, which makes the basic concepts of Just Colors very easy to understand.
Quite simply, it gives you circles of differing hues, and tapping one releases an explosion of colour. If other circles are in the radius of the nearby explosion, they will also explode, with circles of different primary colours (red, green, blue) mixing together to make explosions of secondary colours (magenta, yellow, cyan), while those of the same colour will merely continue the chain. Each level requires that you mix all of the circles together in some way, so that they all explode in a chain reaction and disappear.
Certain circles can be moved, while others are static, and you’ll need to figure out which position will achieve the desired results, as well as which circle you need to tap to start the chain reaction, as this can only be done once per level.
It’s a simplistic premise, and it’s built upon very well, with each of Just Colors’ 50 levels upping the previous stage, with new mechanics slowly introduced every couple of levels or so to keep things fresh. Starting with the basic red, green and blue primary colours, things seem pretty easy, until the three secondary colours are introduced, when you’ll learn that mixing a primary coloured circle with a secondary coloured circle will cause them to repel each other, turning the game into a physics-based puzzler.
There are some really challenging levels here, and you’ll spend ages scratching your head on some of them, but thankfully if you struggle too much, you will eventually be given hints. It’s nice to see a puzzler that requires some real thought rather than just blind luck to get by.
But it’s the presentation that really lets things down here. Graphically, it’s as bare-boned as you can get, thanks to black screens with tiny circles of colour. while audio is limited to the one badly-compressed, crackly soundscape backing track, and basic sound effects that are inoffensive but is far from a reason to keep the sound turned on. It’s a puzzler so you can’t complain too much, but some sort of stylisation or uniqueness would go a long way to make this a more attractive game. It would also be nice to be able to instantly restart a stage once a mistake is made, instead of having to wait ages for circles to slowly explode and for the visuals to slowly fade out.
VERDICT: Just Colors is as simple as puzzle games get, but with a good approach to building upon a basic, easy-to-understand idea. It’s not the most compelling puzzler, neither is it much to look at, but it’s a cheap way to pass the time, and isn’t that what mobile gaming is all about?
GOOD. A game that scores 7/10 is worthy of note, but unworthy of fanfare. It does many things well, but only a few of them incredibly well and, despite a handful of good qualities, fresh ideas and solid mechanics, it fails to overwhelm.
Review code provided by publisher.