I do enjoy looking over games more than, for example, networking tools. Sometimes console tools are intended for discrete applications and discrete audiences, and if I lack the experience needed to make them work, it can be a little frustrating.
Games, on the other hand, are much more egalitarian. With very few exceptions, most games are quite forgiving to newcomers. The next incarnation of this site will probably only focus on text-based games. 😐 And to narrow the niche even further, it will be games that only include color. 😕
chroma will definitely be on that imaginary future site.
To bathe in the wonderful color goodness, I took those screenshots with a 1600×1200 framebuffer and the sun12x22 terminal font. Characters so big, they have their own gravitational fields. 😯
Explaining chroma takes no real effort: Imagine Boulder Dash, with the added complication of “traps” sliding in any of four directions. Releasing a trap may squish you, but may also pen you in, effectively ending the game.
In chroma you have a second avatar who may (or may not) be able to contribute to your adventure or perhaps even free a trapped cohort. Collect enough stars and you can exit the level, and face the next puzzle.
chroma gets high marks — very high marks, in fact — from me, not just for the lovely colors, but for a lot of features that generally don’t appear in console games. Step-by-step replays are a wonderful addition to a game that essentially requires you to hunt down a sequence of movement to exit a puzzle.
And there are 21 levels to conquer, some of which can supposedly be mastered without the need for your alter ego, but some that apparently will require careful interaction to complete. Who’s to say which is which?
chroma will also nest itself neatly in an 80×24 terminal with no loss of function, and has gobs of on-screen help to get you started. The title screen is clean and clever, the entire game is menu-driven with only a few controls to learn, and nothing complex or eccentric in the game play. The characters used as game symbols are obvious and consistent.
Add to that a level editor, and the purported compatibility with some other game level files. That’s clever.
I see no provisions for network play, and truth be told, the game is very linear, since it presents the same puzzles in sequence every time you start. Then again, a randomized puzzle might prove unsolvable, which would be a downer. And you have the option to skip ahead to later levels.
I’m quite happy to give chroma a gold star, not just for lovely use of color, but for handling the entire game experience — from the opening title screen to the level editor to step-by-step replays — with an extraordinary finesse. Well done: ⭐ Enjoy! 😉
P.S.: Arch version is in AUR and installs with an SDL rendition as well. But you don’t need to know that, now do you? 😉