Color Guardians

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Color Guardians Game Poster Image
Novelty, interest wane quickly in colorful arcade game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Players learn that robbery is wrong when the evil color thief Krogma steals all the color from the world.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though you only play one character at a time, the game features three characters working together toward a common goal.

Ease of Play

Though this features simple and color-coded controls, the game gets progressively more difficult.

Violence & Scariness

Characters run off ledges, into obstacles, but it's all done in a cartoony way.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Color Guardians is a cartoony arcade game that combines elements of Donkey Kong Country and other platformers with the color-matching of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. As your character runs down one of three lanes, he or she has to switch paths to avoid obstacles as well as switch colors, with each of the three corresponding to specific buttons. You have to be the same color to grab orbs but also to avoid color-coded traps. Matching colors also helps you use mushrooms and air jets that will send you flying over hazards. But because the game takes a cartoony approach, there’s no blood or even blood-curdling screams when players run into obstacles or fall off ledges.

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What's it about?

In COLOR GUARDIANS, the world has become a sad and bland place, thanks to the thief of colors, Krogma. But together Grock, Lia, and Rod can bring color back to the world by gathering colorful orbs. To do this, you have to match your skin tone to the orbs you'd like to grab and avoid color-coordinated obstacles. These include mushrooms that will only spring you over hazards if you're the right color, large flowers that will only let you pass if you're the right color, and air jets that, well, you know. As if that wasn't enough, you also have to make sure you're in the right lane, since some will come to an abrupt end and others will have barriers that prevent you from progressing.

Is it any good?

Though Color Guardians has its appeal, it’s somewhat limited. By combining elements of musical games (Guitar Hero, Rock Band), platformers (Donkey Kong Country, Sonic the Hedgehog), and endless runners, the people who made Color Guardians have come up with an interesting mix of running, jumping, and puzzle solving. As you run down one of three lanes, you have to match your skin's tone to that of the orbs you want to grab. But you also have to match your color to many of the obstacles you'll encounter while also making sure you're in the right lane.

The problem is that, although Color Guardians is challenging, it’s not that compelling. After playing for a bit, you may never find yourself compelled to go back. This game could use multiple skill-difficulty options, especially if the "hard" setting had you running down more than three lanes. That said, there's plenty to do, with over 70 levels and many reasons to play them more than once, and it gets progressively more difficult without ever getting frustrating. Color Guardians had some promise, but the limited appeal of the gameplay keeps this mainly as a game for endless runner or platformer fans only.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about working toward a common goal. How can people do different things but have them together solve a single problem? What can you do with someone else that will make the world better?

  • Talk about running as a form of exercise. When was the last time you went for a run? If you haven't for a while, why not?

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