Did you hear about that crazy-popular game that sat in the No. 1 Games spot on iTunes for more than a month and a half? I’ll give you a hint, it has color in the title. Color Switch is a tap-based obstacle game that adds an additional level of difficulty because you are constantly changing colors. The game offers three modes: race, challenge and continuous play. And if you are feeling like you want to switch it up, you also have the option to play challenges in reverse.
Color Switch is addictive and I am terrible at it. Despite that, I can’t stop playing. When I heard the back story of how the game was made and by whom, I couldn’t help but love-hate it even more. The game’s creator, David Reichelt, is actually colorblind, which is hard to believe if you’ve played even one level of the game.
The basic gameplay is sort of 2D red light/green light, where you navigate by avoiding the colors you are not. Color is integral to the game. In fact, it is both the gatekeeper and the obstacle.
So how did Reichelt build a complicated, intentional design in bright mesmerizing detail despite being colorblind? He had help from Buildbox, software that allows you to manipulate gameplay using drag-and-drop tools. Basically, what this means is that Reichelt had an idea for a game and built it without writing a single line of code. The entire development process on Buildbox is copy, paste and create by manipulating predefined options like action speed, jump height and score multipliers.
One interesting tidbit I stumbled across in my research is that the drop wheel used to create new games in Buildbox looks an awful lot like the circle design used in Color Switch. But a circle is a circle, and I guess these things happen.
It’s also worth noting that the latest update of Color Switch has been ported from Buildbox to native code to allow for new and custom features.
I’ve been playing Color Switch for a few weeks now; even so, one “dies” a lot (I did say I’m terrible at it). Despite the high death toll, the game is actually quite fun to play. If you don’t complete a level, you still earn stars that you can use to buy new designs for your jumpy ball. One element of the game that I really like is that you feel a real sense of gravity. You need to continuously tap to hover or stay roughly in place — if you don’t, gravity will get you and death explosions ensue.
I constantly find myself trying to sneak in a few rounds throughout the day. Maybe it’s because it drives me nuts that I am not raking in achievements fast enough. Or that I really just want to be good at it, because other people are. Regardless, it’s hard to put this game down or keep yourself from playing once you get the hang of it.
That said, the game does haves its flaws. Most notably, the invasive advertising. Every three or so turns and ad pops up prompting you to play or download a different game. There’s an ad that appears at the bottom that I’ve too often tapped accidentally with the side of my hand. If you touch the ad at all, you’re pulled out of the game — in my case, I was almost always seconds away from winning.
I get that being a free app is how Color Switch was able to climb to the top of the charts. Color Switch has held the top spot longer than any game since Flappy Bird and, after being No. 1 in more than 100 countries for the past month or so, it just dropped to the No. 2 iOS spot in games this week.
Another slightly annoying aspect is that the games center doesn’t save to my tablet the progress I make on my phone, so I end up playing the same levels twice. Apparently, this doesn’t bug as many people as it does me, because Color Switch is only becoming more and more popular. It has a 4.5 stars rating on iTunes and has been downloaded more than 5 million times on Android, which leads me to believe that everyone I know must secretly be playing this game.
If you like tap or puzzle games and are not playing Color Switch already, give it a try. The team has consistently been adding new levels, so it’s sure to keep you entertained for some time.