I received a copy of Chroma Blast via Twitter a while back, and I’m grateful for it. I had no expectations going in, but this little shooter turned out to be a decent surprise. At least for its budget price, Chroma Blast puts most other $1.49 games to shame.
This color focused shooter has you controlling a diamond shaped craft with a different color on each side. You need to shoot corresponding enemies with the same color. The concept is grasped fairly quickly. There’s no story, though is one really needed? All your focus in Chroma Blast is on the action, and accumulating high scores. The online leaderboards help the scores mean something, and I’m glad to see that this key element hasn’t been neglected.
The normal mode has you aiming to eliminate a set number of enemies to move on to the next level or wave. Survival ups the difficulty by making a single hit a failure. Each mode has their own leaderboards. The enemies aren’t so much aggressive as they are numerous, for better or worse. Some will require multiple shots, some change color sporadically, and all will ricochet a shot back if fired upon with the wrong color.
Powerups appear at regular intervals, from basic (like shields) to those that let you choose. Most of the ones that you decide amongst have their own pros and cons. They add a solid risk/reward element. For instance, point multipliers come at the expense of more durable enemies.
Chroma Blast, though still on the simpler side, looks a bit better than still shots might indicate. The rectangular playfield has a surprising sense of depth, and the explosions are colorful. I should mention that even though the emphasis is on color, there is a thoughtful mode included to make the game playable for color blind gamers.
A fairly catchy, though ultimately repetitive, techno beat accompanies the action. The game also controls well, with the colors being mapped in an intuitive setup. There’s optional support for the Pro controller. The speed is definitely on the slower side which may disappoint some, but it’s suitably balanced so you can wiggle around enemies yet not feel like you’re losing control.
I’d really like to see this game updated with some difficulty options. Especially when playing normal mode, the challenge seems to take overly long to increase. An optional higher difficulty could inject some much needed tension, and would fit well with the arcade spirit Chroma Blast is aiming. It would also help to maintain interest in the game for longer spells, rather than just short bursts.
An improvement over Wiz Byte Games’ last Wii U release (which was very buggy) Chroma Blast shows welcomed progress, which is especially encouraging to see from indie developers. Even for a small game at a budget price this is a fair release – other one person indies should take note. Despite some lack in challenge, Chroma Blast warrants support if you’re a genre fan, or budget inclined.
Review: Chroma Blast (Wii U eShop)