It isn’t often that a game can take you by surprise. Color Zen Kids is one such experience and is yet another Nintendo eShop arrival that has made the transition to Wii U from the mobile gaming space. And a perfect fit it is.
As the name implies, this is a colour orientated, stress-free gameplay experience that is targeted toward children. Against the backdrop of a tranquil soundscape composed by Steve Woodzell, who has also scored music for Thief’s E3 trailer and the Guinness ‘Bring it to Life’ advertising campaign, you playfully flick geometric shapes across the screen. A collision with another shape of the same colour sees that hue spread across the screen, and the idea is to eradicate all shapes to be left with the same colour as that designated by the border of your chosen puzzle.
It’s a clear test of logic as the youngsters work out the precise order necessary for success, edutainment once again blurring the lines between games and the learning process – something that parents will surely appreciate. That these shapes are arranged into animals, underwater creatures and birds make the player’s experience across the 100 levels all the more delightful. Snakes, ladybirds and teddybears soon morphing into turtles, flamingos, puffer fish, parrots and monkeys.
It won’t take long to conquer sadly, although the level-by-level structure means that it is easy to dip in and out of whenever you like. While targeted at a younger demographic, the experience still feels regrettably shallow with no noticeable difficulty curve or the added challenge of even approaching puzzles in different ways.
Comparatively the game’s adult counterpart, Color Zen, boasts 460 levels, has more variance and is priced at exactly the same cost. Such discovery devalues Color Zen Kids, making this feel far less substantial – especially when you consider that it is a child’s attention span that needs to be catered for more heavily.
It’s the largely unique, if not simplistic, concept that will hold its own, joyous primary colour vistas a delight to witness – even if the shapes themselves are a little rough around the edges despite the game’s minimalist nature. Perfect for entertaining a young crowd, just remain aware of Color Zen Kids‘ brevity.