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The Colour Pink

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Postby David Whyld » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:31 am

The Color Pink by Robert Street


This was a strange game that actually seemed like two completely unrelated games joined together.

It begins with you arriving on an alien planet to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a colony that once lived on the planet. The colony, it seems, has gone walkabout and you, being the unfortunate chap that you are, have got to find out what happened to it.

I spent a while at the start of the game wandering around, picking things up, dropping things, and generally not making a whole lot of progress. The opening section of the game is fairly small and I'm not able to wander away from the building where the colony lived. So moving forward means persevering and… and in the game I managed to figure out what I needed to do. And then things got decidedly strangely.

I was a little bemused by the game’s title to begin with. Has it got a racism slant? Is there something mysterious about the colour pink? No, it seems that, once you reach a certain part in the game, the locations you are in, and everything in them, become… well, pink. Seriously. Like everything has been daubed with pink paint.

But that’s not the strangest thing about the game. What was looking like a science fiction game with a bizarre twist later on becomes a fantasy game with a bizarre twist as you leave the alien planet and the missing colony, and the general pinkness, behind and find yourself in a generic fantasy land. What has this to do with the alien planet and the missing colony? I'm guessing some kind of hallucination but I could be wrong.

The early part of The Colour Pink was difficult and I didn’t manage to get very far without resorting to the excellent in-game hints, but the section set in the fantasy land is so easy it’s a wonder there are any puzzles at all and the author didn’t just greet you with a “well done, you’ve finished it!” sign the moment you first show up. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. There are puzzles and they're not ridiculously easy or so straightforward you're going to solve them all without any kind of struggle, but compare the later part of the game to the earlier part and the difference in the difficulty levels is quite bewildering.

But then the difference between the earlier part of the game and the later part is bewildering full stop. Was this written as one big game or as two smaller, completely unrelated games that the author decided, for whatever reason, to join together? I suspect the latter. While both parts of the game are good enough in their own right, they're just too different to make playing the entire thing anything less than jarring. I think I’d have preferred either a game fully set on the alien planet and the missing colony or a game in the fantasy land. The two together are just downright weird.

5 out of 10
David Whyld
 
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