There's really not a whole lot to the ColorShift App from developer AddSubtract. But I mean that in the best possible way. The basic gameplay in this case is a good thing. Combined with beautiful simplicity, ColorShift really does stand out and is distinct.
It feels like the new word game Letterpress, in how all the extraneous visuals have been whittled away to only the bare essentials of what makes the game. For instance, after getting used to playing Letterpress, I now spazz out a bit at all the noise of Words With Friends.
The object of the game is to put a set of color tiles in order from light to dark. Or from dark to light. I started out automatically putting the darkest tile on the bottom of the screen and working my way up, just assuming that's how you had to do it, but it works with the darkest tile on top as well. At first, the color tiles are small in number and noticeably different in shade. But as you progress and the screen fills with more tiles, the color differences will become subtler.
This game works best when you're chipping away at it little by little. When I would try and push a play session past 15-20min, I would start to hypnotically lull myself to sleep a bit. But it's perfect to pull out and play for a little bit while you're waiting in a line or when you have a few free minutes.
While you can play this game on the iPad, and it does indeed look great on that device, it's best suited to the iPhone. The simple swiping of tiles up and down lends itself to your thumb quite perfectly and is perfect for playing with just one hand.
I find that one of the downsides of playing an involved game on your phone, even if it's a really good involved game, is that it's hard to just spend a small amount of time playing it. ColorShift is the opposite.
You can boot it up, swipe through a few levels, and put it back in your pocket all in the space of a few minutes. And it will feel like you've made incremental progress, rather than just doing something or noodling around in a different game. Whether you're chipping away at it spaced out over time, waiting in the lines for the ATM or at the grocery store, or whether you're putting in extended sessions of playtime.
For just being a casual game and doing what it's setting out to do, it's hard not to give it a perfect score. But judged within the context of all the apps out there, which is how I try and rate things, ColorShift still gets a really solid score here at Arcade Sushi. Plus it's free and smaller than most of the music files you have on your phone.
The best way to get a sense of ColorShift is to take a look at the trailer: