When I was young, I used to play
around with watercolors. I wasn't particularly interested in painting, and
until now, my 25-year old self still has no idea how to work a paintbrush. Back
then, I just enjoyed mixing the colors. My face would light up with wonder as I
watched two different hues combine and form a totally new color. I treated it
as a game where I'd fill up a blank paper with a spectrum of colors, from the
darkest to the lightest.
Spectrum 6 reminded me of that experience. It is a simple,
unassuming puzzle game made exclusively for iOS and was also featured in the US
and Canada App Store for a time. Developed by the humble three-man team of
Dusky Drones, Spectrum 6 is a puzzler
that centers on mixing colors as a game mechanic.
In this game, you are presented with a grid and a few colored tiles placed in random locations. There are areas which indicate what color should occupy them and your goal is to fill them with the correct color.
To do this, you need to dig up your basic knowledge of color mixing. Tapping a tile spawns like-colored tiles on the areas adjacent to it. This mechanic is also used when mixing colors; by overlapping tiles of different hues, you'll create an entirely new tile (e.g. a yellow tile combined with a red tile forms a completely new orange tile).
From the outset, this all seems
simple. You can just tap your way through the grid, not minding the mess of
colors you make while doing so (it's something my younger self would do with
watercolor anyway). But no, Spectrum 6
is harder than it seems. The challenge not only depends on the order of tapping
tiles, but also in the use of the fewest moves possible.
There are over 60 handcrafted puzzles to solve. Developer Marc Jamero shared that Spectrum 6 originally featured infinite levels, but after realizing that users would get bored after a while, the team decided to design a handful of levels instead.
Although you may rack your brains trying to get through the levels, Spectrum 6 doesn't leave you feeling stressful. There's a small sense of fulfillment you'll get from mixing the right colors. Aside from that, the graphics, the sounds, they're all quite relaxing. The gameplay is actually kind of therapeutic, akin to the effect of completing a page in an adult coloring book.
I still do not know how to use a paintbrush properly. But with the need to buy art materials combined with the mess I would no doubt make, I think I'll stick to a game that lets me experience the same feeling I had when I was younger.
Spectrum 6 is available exclusively for iOS. You can purchase and download it HERE.Â