Color Commando

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Color Commando Game Poster Image
Basic puzzle platformer starts out easy, gets pretty tough.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Color Commando wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

This game is about thinking logically and solving problems and puzzles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's hero doesn't speak and shows no personality, save a celebration leap when he's victorious. It seems as though his sole interest is collecting coins and treasure, and he's willing to risk contact with weird color monsters to get them.

Ease of Play

The game starts out very easy, almost like an introduction to platformer games for little kids. However, its puzzles quickly grow in difficulty, eventually becoming challenging even for experienced players.

Violence & Scariness

The level restarts if the game's hero touches one of the game's color monsters.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Color Commando is a rudimentary puzzle platformer about a boy searching for treasure while avoiding colorful monster blobs. There's nothing remotely scary or scurrilous about the experience. Note, though, that this is a $2 download that takes about an hour to play. And while its difficulty is at first well suited to youngsters, it quickly grows in challenge and eventually reaches a point that even parents may be vexed when it comes to figuring out how to solve a level while collecting all the bonus coins. Younger players (who the game seems made for) will probably grow frustrated before finishing.

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What's it about?

A two-dollar downloadable released for Nintendo DS and 3DS through the devices' online store, COLOR COMMANDO is a rudimentary puzzle platformer game. Players work their way through 25 single-screen levels in which they must guide a tiny hero up and down ladders and across platforms with an aim to collect coins en route to treasure chests. However, one or more color monsters patrol each level. Touch one and the level resets. You can try to simply avoid them, but that becomes impossible before long. The only way to get past them is to collect color blobs that you can use to paint a monster-matching splotch of color on the game world. When the monster passes over this splotch he blends into it and can't hurt your hero. Strategic placement of splotches will create a safe path from start to finish.

Is it any good?

Color Commando isn't quite sure what it wants to be. Its initial levels make it feel like an introductory 2D platformer designed to show young children the joys of running back and forth and up and down flat environments while avoiding obstacles. However, by the time you make it to the fourth of the game's five worlds things will have become far more challenging. Split-second timing and no small amount of lateral thinking is required to pass these levels – especially if you want collect all of the coins along the way (and the coins are required in order to unlock the final level in each world). These challenges will test the puzzling and platforming skills of even experienced teens and grown-ups. Young kids will likely be flummoxed to the point of frustration. There's probably a niche crowd of indie-loving, pixel art-appreciating, puzzle-platformer adoring players who will flock to this one. Others are destined to be disappointed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about playing puzzle games. Do the monsters in this game make it more fun?

  • Families can also discuss how to handle frustration. What do you do when you encounter a problem that you have trouble solving? Has there ever been a time when a solution came to you after taking a break and looking at the problem again from a new perspective?

Game details

For kids who love puzzles and thinking games

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