Discolored | Review
Discolored Game Review | A lonely roadside diner in the middle of the desert. The locals say it’s lost all its colour. You are sent to investigate. Discoloured is a strange and surreal puzzle adventure, taking place over two-or-so hours in a single desolate location. Your mission: restore the colour to this once-vibrant world. What caused the colours to disappear? How can they be brought back?
Developer: Godbey Games
Console Played On: Nintendo Switch
Touchscreen Compatible: No
Do you like abstract and surreal surroundings? Check ✅
Do you enjoy the primary colours of light? Check ✅
Are you a fan of Tolkien’s Eye of Sauron? Check ✅
Well if so, this escape game might just be for you.
One For The Road
You play through the eyes of an unnamed detective tasked to find the missing colours of a roadside diner… and that’s about all I can tell you.
Unlike many other escape games, Discolored has no beginning or ending narrative; neither through text or voiceover. You are thrown into the game from the off, without any warning. Whilst I like the no-messing-around style, it did feel a little empty to have absolutely nothing to introduce you to the storyline. The end of the game also feels like the rug has been pulled from under your feet, albeit, not in a very exciting way. It’s a shame, as the ending does hint towards a potential sequel; something which I feel the developers could certainly do it justice.
Contrarily; the middle of the game, where the player is at the diner, does have merit. The music whilst minimalistic, sets the tone very well. The art execution, particularly when progressing through the puzzles, provide a simplistic, yet sharp and engrossing environment. Finally, the antagonistic figure that arrives just before the end section, possesses an impressive sinister aura for its modest physical qualities.
Directions For The Diner
Controls are universal; left stick to move forward/back/left/right and the right stick to turn. There are a number of options to adjust sensitivity. There is also a choice to either be free-roaming or stationary point-and-click. I feel that this is a great feature and it provides more comfort in control, based on personal playing preferences.
There are a few things that I would like considered if an update is in the pipe-line.
- Like Palindrome Syndrome, when focussing upon a puzzle, the cursor on screen is controlled by the right analog stick, with no option to change it to the left.
(The pain of being left handed is eternal).
- The choice of sensitivity generally works, however once focussed upon a puzzle, the sensitivity becomes super sensitive and as a result, caused my cursor to fly off screen with the same amount pressure used, when not focussed upon a puzzle. I got used to it eventually, but it did take a mental adjustment.
- There is no quit/return to title button in the pause menu. You have to quit the game from the switch home screen.
Don’t get me wrong, the controls work on a fundamental basis. Once I got over the initial mental obstacles, it proved for a smooth playing experience.
Such Pretty Colours…
I feel that the puzzles and the aesthetics behind them, are certainly the strongest part of Discolored. Puzzle types include; searching, placement, observation and logic. Whilst not overly challenging or varied, they are balanced and thematic. The method of using certain key items (or not) to progress, is a welcome mechanic to the game.
The hints system works well and is short, sharp and to-the-point. Furthermore, there is an option in the controls to allow a second, visual hint, in certain areas of the game; if you get stuck further.
Something Is Always Watching…
Aside from the mechanic that allows (or prevents) you from viewing or using certain inventory items based on the placement of specific key items; the majority of the puzzles don’t offer much in terms of originality when compared to other escape games on the market.
The abstract and surreal narrative plot-point however, is certainly a fresh concept. However as mentioned above, it’s unfortunate that it hasn’t been embellished further.
Discolored is priced at £8.99 on the switch and £5.49 on steam. An experienced puzzler might finish this between 30 minutes and an hour, otherwise between 90 minutes and 2 hours is a fair estimation.
The switch price for some, (especially the more experienced puzzler) may not be enough to warrant value, however the steam price, is on the right side of justification for all to purchase.
For The Starting Sleuth Or The Daring Detective?
Discolored would be a great recommendation for any prospective player who has played less than 5 escape rooms (IRL or virtual); it’s a solid entry-level game.
On a completely different note, I’d also recommend it to game designers who are looking for a product that projects strong aesthetics, from a limited palette.
Concept & Immersion – ⭐️ (Good)
Control – ⭐️ (Good)
Puzzles – ⭐️⭐️ (Great)
Freshness – ⭐️ (Good)
Value For Money – ⭐️ (Good)
Overall – ⭐️ (Good)
This is a good game. The art design and application of colour in the puzzles are definite highlights. However, for value and control reasons, I strongly recommend that you play this on steam instead of switch.
Conversely, there is buckets of potential for a sequel, that has every opportunity to be even more successful.
Check out the developer’s page for Discolored here.