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Chromadrome 2 PC Game Review

January 27th, 2008

chromadrome-21.jpgThis article by Carole-Anne Franco provides a good overview of a relatively obscure game developed by Alpha 72 called Chromadrome 2. Although released in August 2007, it is somewhat of a throwback to the older arcade style games but with more modern graphics. Like those familiar games of yore, it is both simple and surprisingly addictive.


Have you ever gone through a GameStop, EB games, Best Buy, or another other store that sells video games? Did you ever gasp at the rising price tags and wish you could find nice good games for a lot less? Well actually on the Internet you can (and I am not talking about illegal downloads and Roms). Many independent developers out there offer great quality games for you to download at a reasonable price. Here’s one you just might like: Chromadrome 2.

Alpha 72’s Chromadrome 2 is the sequel of Chromadrome -a game that was awarded the Avault’s top shareware of 2004. So, what is Chromadrome 2? Released in September of 2007, it hopes to follow and do homage to its predecessor.

Description:

You play this yellow marble with eyes called a “Chromate”. Its goal in life is to go down tracks without falling in holes. Guided by your handy dandy mouse (or touchpad for laptop users), you guide this lovable fellow through these tracks. You make sure he doesn’t fall in holes; you make sure he goes on the jump ramps when needed; you decide if he should go on a speed ramp in order to go faster or if you should hit obstacles in order to slow down; you decide if you go for extra points by attempting to jump through hoops that may or may not aid you in your task not to fall down. There are 6 game modes: Arcade, Academy, Warp, Time Trial, Chromacing, and Two Player. You unlock these modes as you play through the game. As you play, you can even earn bonus features.

Systems:

Every Windows system since Windows 98 will be able to use this (sorry Mac users). DirectX 8 and at least 128MB of ram is also required (so most computers should have no problem).

Playability:

The introduction to the game is very flowing. You have this one “tutorial” where you just learn to move this guy left and right and you can’t fall off the track on the sides - only holes within the track. Then once this tutorial is over, you move on to the Green Arcade. To be honest, that is far more of a tutorial than the real one. With each level you are given 1 or 2 new features. The levels are short but will give you plenty of fun as you need to play close attention. They may not tell you what the new features are before going forth! This may sound like a liability but it isn’t. Most of the time you will be told of new features, and when they don’t it actually adds a sense of difficulty that’s perfectly suitable to make the introduction of a game not too predictable. Such a great layout of new features makes the learning curve of the game simple. Once you learn the basics, you’ll realize that the game is neither too hard nor too easy. It’ll have its challenges but it shouldn’t be overly frustrating or impossible. Don’t worry that your computer’s system might lag the game and cause you to lose. Since this is a simple 3d game without overly long levels, recent (and slightly used) computers should have no problem running this game smoothly.

Music and Graphics:

While gameplay is the most important feature of a game, it can be slightly hindered by bad music and graphics. Thankfully Chromadrome was saved such humiliation. The music is bland - perfect for a game where your utmost attention is needed. It won’t make you feel lonely, yet it won’t draw much needed attention from you. If you would like to play with something that you personally like, you can actually have the game play music you have in your computer. The graphics are also very complimentary. The characters and objects are in 3d and look quite nice for this style of game. The background actually changes according to the music frequency. It’s a small thing you won’t notice too much, but it is still nice to have.

Game modes:

Arcade: You go down and try to reach the end of 108 tracks.
Academy: Practice certain skills. These practices will have you repeat whatever move you have problems with over and over again.
Warp: A very long track. Think of it as a boss level.
Time Trial: Try to get to the end of the tracks as quickly as possible.
Chromacing: A very lush racing game.
Two Player: Go against another player in a split-screen match. (Vista and XP only)

Conclusion:

This is a nice, fun, simple, and addictive game that is suitable for all ages. The $19.95 price tag also makes it quite a steal - even PSP and Nintendo DS games of this style often go for higher. There is a free demo available on the publisher’s website that lasts for 60 minutes of free play - more than enough to get you addicted. If you still feel that you wouldn’t want to spend 20 bucks for an arcade style game, you could go for the original game which is merely $9.95 and just as fun.



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