Color Zen (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Luna Eriksson 01.11.2014

Review for Color Zen on Nintendo 3DS

Color Zen might at first appear to be just another average puzzle offering. After some time spent with it, however, it quickly becomes clear that Large Animal Games' title is far more than just that. Cubed3 reviews the Nintendo 3DS version and explains why it is worth looking into.

Color Zen is an innovative, fun and simple puzzle game with an intelligent and accessible design. The gameplay is easy to learn; draw coloured dots towards the coloured fields or other dots to make them explode, and change the colour of the surroundings to the same colour as they are. It is almost like using the fill tool in paint computer programs. The goal is to change the colour of the entire screen to match the frame colour.

The stages are well designed, and the game itself gives off a relaxed feeling, whilst at the same time delivering a bit of brain training. Even when the stages become harder Color Zen still somehow succeeds to feel relaxing due to the calming level design and the extremely forgiving gameplay that gives players five "skips" per chapter, which is very generous and is there to prevent getting stuck too long. In total there is a whopping 460 levels to complete - an excellent number considering the wonderful level design.

These levels are split up into four modes and six chapters, with each chapter holding 20 stages. The modes are slightly different from one another. Classic mode contains pretty simple gameplay outlined above, whilst in another mode, if the user moves a colour dot another dot starts moving, as well, increasing depth and difficulty. The third mode is focused on several layered colours, and the final one seems to be centralised on using black boxes to get rid of blocks without changing the background colour. These latter two modes are very simple, though, and don't offer too much different than what is contained in Classic mode.

The true value in this game, however, lies somewhere else. It is in the psychological effects it has while playing. The gameplay and design gives Color Zen an almost hypnotic feel of relaxation, which is highly enhanced by the way the difficulty curve is handled.

Screenshot for Color Zen on Nintendo 3DS

The reason that the gameplay is so relaxing is because when a level begins it starts off in a total mess, representing the mind of the player, and as they proceed the level gets tidier until it is completely clean, creating the feeling that the mind itself has undergone some form of cleaning. It is a truly genius way of implying psychological aspects into the gameplay and gives Color Zen a value other than for sole entertainment.

The difficulty enhances this by instead of having a more classic proceeding, difficulty has a 'breathe in, breathe out' difficulty level that, of course, is increasing over time, however, seldom in a way that makes the game feel stressful. In case it does start to feel this way, there is the option of skipping that level to go into a 'breathe out' period.

The graphics in Color Zen might appear as nothing special, but the way the colours spread out when two coloured fields hit each other is really satisfying, done in a way that that doesn't look like the whole field getting coloured very simply. Some of the levels later on in the game are true masterpieces of art design and look fantastic.

This is a really well-thought-out and geniusly-designed game with a lot of clever ideas and concepts that succeeds with more than just being entertainment; it also helps improve aspects of users' daily lives with its meditative and mesmerising gameplay and graphics. Color Zen offers a lot of carefully planned content and has high replay value for a puzzler, mainly due to its relaxing gameplay. It is worth noting, though, that the game might get boring if played for extended periods of time.

Screenshot for Color Zen on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Color Zen is great, both as a game and tool to reduce stress in one's daily life. It truly shows off the potential of video games as a medium as so much more than simple entertainment. However, the game suffers from becoming a little dull if played for extended periods of time due to its repetitive gameplay and lack of new mechanics later on.


Large Animal







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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