X-Rainbow is a new puzzle game from Ludimate that tasks you with freeing up the colors of the rainbow which have somehow been frozen into blocks by the evil Dr. Darko. Is this puzzler as vibrant as the rainbow? Or does it have us feeling dull and grey?
At first glance, X-Rainbow looks like a clone of Arkanoid or similar brick-buster games. If that was the case, then I probably would have had more fun. While the object of the game is to clear each board of all rainbow blocks, it’s decidedly less fun than it seems.
You launch balls by dragging your finger down and arcing them in any direction, much like you would in Angry Birds, making sure that you stay below the play area. If you try to launch in an invalid spot, your guide will turn red and no balls will be launch. Your balls will bounce a number of times off solid surfaces before shattering like Christmas ornaments.
Sounds challenging, right? It would be, if you were given a finite set of balls. But no, you’re given as many balls as you can throw, limited only by how high you want your score to get. Each time you toss a ball up, it detracts from your score. But since you’ll keep scoring even if you fire a volley of balls in any random direction, you’ll find that you can clear whole boards by playing haphazardly and still come out with a pretty decent score.
The challenge, if you can call it that, comes from clearing special obstacles on different boards. For example, a board might feature blocks that have a gravitational pull and can draw your balls away from your target. You’ll have to find a way to use that pull to your advantage so that your balls’ trajectory bends just right and hits the proper blocks.
Some boards even makes it so that the entire stage slowly descends. If just one color block passes the white, dotted line at the bottom of the screen, it’s game over. Again, passing this is as easy as arbitrarily sending balls flying upwards, hoping that you hit something. Precision is rewarded, sure, but you’ll get by with just flinging 10+ balls in a block’s general direction.
So really, the only thing that keeps the game from getting truly stale is finding out what special blocks or obstacles the next stage will hold. But even then, it’s just so you can conquer it in the laziest way ever, scoff and then move on to the next one.
To its credit, X-Rainbow lives up to its name and is certainly colorful, albeit still boring. It is also devoid of many effects that would have helped spruce up its presentation. In fact, the only real effects that can be seen are when balls shatter and blocks explode after being hit. Other than that, the graphics are somewhat depressingly plain, regardless of how colorful the blocks are.
I really wanted to like X-Rainbow, but it just didn’t deliver on any front, whether it was through its music, controls, graphics or gameplay. I applaud the effort, but I won’t be chasing this rainbow any time soon. In fact, the only thing it’s managed to do is give me a hankering to play some Arkanoid.