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Chameleon review

Colored blocks are so over... this hue-shifting puzzler uses hexagons instead, but blends in too much with the competition

Pros

  • Priced to move
  • Feels fresh
  • Head to head single-cart play

Cons

  • Not much here
  • Only one skill level
  • Goal matches suck

Oct 18, 2007

It's rare these days to find a puzzle game on DS or PSP that isn't just a port of a PC shareware game that's been out forever (Cake Mania or Luxor, for instance). However, Chameleon is no port... instead, it appears to be a knock-off of a PC shareware game calledFiller. That's arguably even worse, isn't it? Well, let's see how it plays anyway...

Chameleon takes place on a grid of colored hexagons far taller than the dual screens can show (you can zoom out to get a better view, thankfully). You start at the bottom of the playfield, with only one hexagon under your control, and your opponent begins at the top.

When it's your turn, you select one of the seven colors; every hex you control changes to that color and any connecting hexes that are also that color become yours as well. So, if your current color happens to be red, but there are three yellow hexagons touching you, all you have to do is change to yellow, and those are absorbed into your territory. Then, if there are blue hexagons touching the yellow, you pick blue next time and all of your territory turns blue, absorbing the blue hexes as well. And so it goes until one player collects 50% of the playfield, ending the match.

The only real deviations in this routine are that you can actually only choose from five of the seven colors on any given turn - the two colors chosen most recently by either contestant are off limits - and that the players have super-powers. Each of the five selectable characters (all anime girls, for reasons never fully explained) has two different abilities they can use if they capture special star-stamped hex tiles. These range from stealing turns or setting color-shifting bombs to randomly re-coloring every unclaimed hex on the grid, so they can certainly affect the outcome of the match.

More Info

GenreFamily
DescriptionColored blocks are sooo over... this color-shifting puzzle game uses hexagons instead. But it blends in too much with the competition.
PlatformDS
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating
Release date:6 August 2007 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:DS
Genre:Family

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
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