Paint Now

Review: ChromaGun VR (PSVR)

7

Good

Do you remember learning the joy of mixing paint colours as a kid? There is a new puzzle game in town that’ll require you to bring your age-old painting skills to solve many colourful problems. But, before you do anything, please take the elevator to the right and move to the first floor. Welcome to Chromatec. Oh, and good luck *evil laugh*.

ChromaGun will remind you very much of Portal. Both in the manner that the narrator tries to be witty and due to the fact that you’ve just arrived to the first floor where you are surrounded by nothing but white-padded walls and a gun in front of you. The gun even resembles the Portal Gun. Most similarities come to an end at this point. Yes, it’s a puzzle game, but you need to think about your problems in a whole new way. You’re about to basically shoot a paint gun to solve your problems. The first gun you pick up comes with only one colour attached to it to teach you the basics of the game.

Each level has a very unique method in solving each puzzle and it’s the combination changing the colour on both the wall panels and WorkerDroids that’ll leave you perplexed.

Your overall objective is to get to the exit door of each floor you enter. To do so you have to activate a trigger on the floor to open the door. Standing on it will open the door, but as soon as you move away from the trigger the door closes. It’s your typical puzzle conundrum you would have experienced in previous games. So, to help you with this problem you’ll be making use of WorkerDroids – robotic beings that float in the air and are attracted to walls of the same colour. Shoot a blob of the same colour to a nearby wall and your WorkerDroid will automatically make its way to that wall. As soon as the WorkerDroid hovers above the trigger you can make your way through the exit door and to the next floor. Simple in theory, yes, but as all puzzle games have notoriously tricked people for years – it gets real complicated.

Chroma, chroma, chroma, chroma chameleon

The real bit of trickery comes in the form of your real ChromaGun that you unlock once you’re done with the basic tutorial. This gun can shoot off three colours – red, yellow and blue. At first, you’ll be dealing with several WorkerDroids by painting the walls in a colour relating to each Droid, that in turn activates three switches that collectively opens one door. It’s once you start mixing the colours it becomes a little frantic. Should a purple, green or orange WorkerDroid make an appearance you’ll have to splat a wall in red and blue (purple), yellow and blue (green) or red and yellow (orange) to attract that droid. It sounds exceptionally simple in theory, but in practice, you’ll overcomplicate matters and often mix the wrong colours. Hit that panel with a third colour splat and it’ll turn black and become useless. You then either focus on another wall panel or restart the level if there is no other option. You see, not all panels can be turned into all colours. Some have a colour by default and some wall panels remain white (with a mesh-like texture) that can’t be changed. To complicate matters even further, the WorkerDroids themselves can also be changed in colour.

Each level has a very unique method in solving each puzzle and it’s the combination of changing the colour on both the wall panels and WorkerDroids that’ll leave you perplexed. Some triggers are also not based right next to a wall and could be situated somewhere in the middle of the room. To solve this requires you to create a colour panel on each side of the room so that the WorkerDroid is suspended in mid-air between the two panels, hovering in the middle. Later on you’re dealing with electrified floors, particle meshes that allows you to see on the other side of the room, but won’t allow blops of paint to pass through it and you’ll encounter mechanisms that detect and removes the paint on the wall you placed there – in turn making you rush things and ultimately resulting in you making mistakes.

You come and go, you come and go

The WorkerDroids are also more harmful the further you get into the game. Some WorkerDroids (I assume they were mistreated by Chromatec corporation) can be vicious. The nice ones are just colourful balls, while the threatening types have spikes on the exterior and later get upgraded to electrified spikes. Things can get real nasty when you’re in panic mode. The vicious WorkerDroids will slowly make their way towards you if you don’t have a panel of the same colour drawing its attention. You can use this to your advantage and lead it to an area that you require it to be, before painting the wall to its colour. You’re constantly tricking these poor WorkerDroids into traps to help you get to that exit door.

It’s immersive in VR, but it’s not doing anything you can’t do in a standard game.

Throughout my play I could not help but wonder if it’s perhaps not a better experience as a standard experience. It’s immersive in VR, but it’s not doing anything you can’t do in a standard game. Thankfully the game can be played on a standard PS4 (and various other formats), so if you’re after a puzzle game then you’re not forced to play it in VR. Be aware that the puzzles do become exceptionally tough, a haven for fans of the genre. Another annoying bit is the music. The soundtrack brings a mystical feel to it, but the loop gets very annoying when you’re listening to it for hours on end. I recommend turning it off altogether.

ChromaGun is a colourful game that’ll push your puzzle-solving skills to their limits. It’s enjoyable in VR, but is probably a more enjoyable experience as a standard game on your PS4. If you have a love for mixing colours and having WorkerDroids sacrificing themselves for your own well-being, then this game is for you.

Good

  • Solving a room puzzle is very satisfying
  • WorkerDroids are your slaves
  • Don't need anything other than the Dualshock 4

Bad

  • VR doesn't bring that much more to the game
  • The music is repetitive and annoying
  • It gets, very, very tough

Summary

Fans of the puzzle genre will find much to love in ChromaGun VR. Using droids to do your nasty work has never been as colourful. If you love a game that challenges your brain muscles then you're about to get one hell of a mental workout.
7

Good

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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