Color: A Browser Game About Headshotting Colours

By Graham Smith on January 30th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

This post marks the death of all productivity.

Sometimes a browser game comes along that just seems to swallow me and everyone I know. Quick to play, a challenge which measures some gaming-unrelated skill, the kind of thing you want to brag about and don’t feel bad about recommending. The last one was GeoGuessr, the game of geographic trivia. The new one is Color, the game of ffs-am-I-blind-or-something. It’s only a colour matching game, but it consumed my evening.

The game was designed for Method of Action, a website intent on teaching “design for programmers”. In other words, design for people who maybe don’t think of themselves as designers. As part of that course, they’re including three games. I’ve played two of them previously, and they’re excellent as well: Kerntype, in which you must correctly balance the spacing between letters within a font; and Shape Type, in which you drag the edges of letters to perfect their form. These are both compulsive score challenges that I’ve played too much of while working other jobs.

But Color is new to me and it’s the one I’ve been playing while I’m supposed to be working this job. It starts off simply, challenging you to match the hue of a displayed colour by picking from a simple colour wheel. Then it asks you to do the same with saturation and expands the colour wheel. Later you’ll be matching multiple colours at once, while unwittingly learning basic principles of colour theory.

Mainly though, you’ll be getting a score which you can then send to your friend alongside a link to the game. It’ll only take you a few minutes to play, but it’ll take you the whole day to stop playing. As demonstrated by comrade Philippa Warr’s rapid descent into livestream madness as she attempts to one-hundred percent the game. Twist ending!

I say that the skill it measures isn’t game-like because it relates to the real world, but it occurs to me that it’s basically about headshotting colours. I’ll make that the title of this post, I think.

Go play. It even has a colour-blind mode.

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  1. Synesthesia says:

    Ok, let’s do this.

    8.4 on first run. 10 9 6 8 8 10

    • Crane says:

      9.7 on first run. *smug*
      6, 12, 10, 12, 12, 6

      I was a bit confused in the very first section, which is why I did so poorly there.

    • LionsPhil says:

      First run, tired, and using a TrackPoint, but I’m a hobbyist artist:
      9.2 overall, 9 10 9 8 9 10

      I’m not really convinced it teaches you much about colour theory, though, beyond thinking in hue/saturation space enough to have an intuitive feel on which way to move to make a colour more like another.

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      Rikard Peterson says:

      I found the last ones a bit difficult: 8.0 (10, 8 10, 8, 7, 5) (It took me a while to figure out which colour I was controlling there, and which were stationary and so on. I tended to only pay attention to one of the fields in the multi-colour parts of the game.

  2. Swanny says:

    Being colorblind, this game is in the horror genre for me.

    • Swanny says:

      7,6,5,1,5, ack!

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      phuzz says:

      I didn’t have much of a problem with it, it was just move the mouse until the colours matched, which looked like the line between them had disappeared. My main problem was moving the cursor to the exact right place.
      That said, the only time I’ve noticed my colour blindness is on an Ishihara test. Or when I argue with friends about what colour things are (that couch is definitely dark green, no matter what anyone says)

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      Lol, I scored 3.5 overall, and on the last part I got a big fat zero.

  3. Frank says:

    Fun stuff. Their Shape Type game suffers from poor (user interface) design itself, I think. Those pink balls block our view.

  4. Zenicetus says:

    It’s a fun little game, but a few nitpicks from a retired graphic designer here. First, you’ll probably score better on a color-corrected, professional grade monitor. That isn’t the type most gamers use, due to slower refresh rates and cost (they’re very expensive). It does make a difference in how colors that are very close can be distinguished. So the scores between players don’t mean that much, when they’re not using the same hardware.

    Also, the random color choices can sometimes result in a series of very similar colors on the wheel. This might cause a retinal fatigue effect, like the “afterimage” color reversal used in some optical illusions. I’m guessing that might affect the ability to match colors when it suddenly shifts to the complementary side of the wheel for the next target. If I could make a suggestion to the game designer, it would be to change the random color selection so it moves around a bit more on the wheel, and the player doesn’t get too many target-match colors that are almost identical in a row.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Another problem with its randomness is that time-to-aquire seems to be a factor in the score, and I found it much faster to match within those sequences of similar colours it would do occasionally.

  5. Sidewinder says:

    If things have gotten this bad, then it may be destiny’s way of telling me I’m due to become some sort of dictionary-themed supervillain. ‘Shot’ as a verb only applies in the past tense. Consequently, this is only a game about headshooting colors (or colours, as you prefer).

    Now I guess I have to go prepare to fight Batman.

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      Samuel Erikson says:

      “If things have gotten this bad, then it may be destiny’s way of telling me I’m due to become some sort of dictionary-themed supervillain. ‘Shot’ as a verb only applies in the past tense. Consequently, this is only a game about headshooting colors (or colours, as you prefer).

      Now I guess I have to go prepare to fight Batman.”

      You might want to actually look at a dictionary before attempting to take on Batman. Here’s the OED entry on ‘head shot.’

  6. djbriandamage says:

    As a Canadian I love when RPS sneaks British spellings into things, like this title, and when they call it Medal of Honour.

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      phuzz says:

      I think it’s less about sneaking it in, rather automatically spelling it correctly, unlike the citizens of a certain country to your south…

      • tormos says:

        To be fair, Mexico’s official language is Spanish so we cut them some slack :)

    • Kitsunin says:

      Oh, so you’re telling me you pronounce it on-hour? Weird, but I guess that makes us both right!

    • DestructibleEnvironments says:

      Except that Medal of HonoUr is incorrect spelling. Just like the kinda people that translate names in books to fit their own language (like the names of people in lord of the rings)…. It’s just not a something that makes logical sense.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Why not? Surely we use letters rather than characters because the important thing is that you are actually saying it right? I mean sure English is fucking terrible at it compared to Spanish or Korean, for instance, but isn’t it way more important that you can actually say a word than just knowing what it should look like? If I translate a Chinese book I should write 小王’s name as Shiao Wong, because otherwise it doesn’t have any meaning to an English speaker.

        EDIT: Now I’m confused, I read that you said “Correct” not “Incorrect”

      • The Random One says:

        honour is not inkorrekt spellin. correkt spelin is any spelin u can understand. thats y even tho this post has sevral “error” in it (ie deviations from formal english) u can still understand it

    • JanusForbeare says:

      As a Canadian, I’m much more partial to the British-isms they stick in the articles every so often. Like “cor”. I think I even saw “coo” recently, which brought back pleasant memories of BG2. Remember Gaelen Bayle?

  7. Koozer says:

    Could this be any more useless at teaching colour theory without being black and white?

    • Rapzid says:

      No. It’s a huge marketing gimmick; “Look, you too can be a designer because you can make two colours match!”. They have a few other games: match the shape, even the letters, etc… Basically stuff you learn in pre-school. Presumably they are ramping up a huge marketing campaign and will sell some sort of course or something. The whole thing smacks of a TV infomercial, just more interactive and not on TV.

  8. KDR_11k says:

    Dunno, not feeling it. I suppose it’ll be hard for those people who use less than 24 bit displays.

    A similar but more interesting game is Frequon Invaders. Especially fun when people are watching.