Color Me Frustrated
The Wii U eShop might not be the most bustling marketplace for a home console. However, the quality and variety of many of the games are quite amazing. While there are definitely games to stay away from like any marketplace, there are some bright shiny gems in the Wii U's digital library. Canvaleon is a 2D platformer, which admittedly the Wii U has enough of, but it's one that tries something different, using a wide array of camouflages to blend the protagonist into the background, narrowly avoiding the advance of enemies. Is the mechanic executed brilliantly, or does Canvaleon "blend in" too much with the other less than desirable Wii U eShop games?
Canvaleon starts out with an adorable hand drawn scene that tells the story of a newborn chameleon who is ousted by his family and fellow villagers due to lacking the ability to change colors like any ordinary part of his species. Rejected, the chameleon grows up and meets an artist named Doodle has the ability to paint the pure white chameleon with his special paintbrush. Thus, Doodle gives the chameleon a name, Canvas!
This is where the main gameplay mechanic of Canvaleon comes in. Levels don't require you to speed through them as if you were playing Super Mario Bros. or something like that. Well, you CAN take levels that way, but you'll very much find yourself dying constantly. No, Canvaleon is more of a cerebral 2D platformer that requires stealth, patience, and strategy.
|I quickly found out that simply trying to rush|
through levels like my tail was on fire was a bad plan.
Our hero chameleon is a literal blank Canvas. Through collecting multicolored butterflies throughout stages, you can buy and create different camouflages for Canvas to equip. You can have up to four different camouflage patterns equipped at once, having you cycle through them with the shoulder buttons. Buying pre-made camouflages seems pretty useless, as they rarely seem applicable to the levels in the game. Thus, the option to create your own camouflage is highly important.
|Depending on the enemy, your camouflage may|
work better or worse.
Levels also suffer from the inability to fully gauge what is an actual platform and what isn't. Many times I'd leap to something that looked like a solid platform, only to discover it was just background scenery that couldn't be interacted with. Not the best if you're discovered by the enemy and have to make a mad dash to get to a safe platform away from the dangerous foe.
Thankfully, if one level is giving your problems, the world map of Canvaleon allows you to go to a different one to try out. There are a myriad of levels in the game taking place in various different locales requiring various different camouflages. There are forests, mountains, deserts, cities, and so many more interesting areas to explore.
|Hmm. Something tells me this enemy is aware of my location.|
Even still with its many issues, Canvaleon is by no means an awful game. It's just definitely one that requires patience and a bit of stubbornness to complete. Some better explanation towards designing your own camouflages would have been greatly appreciated, and a checkpoint or two in the longer levels would make for a far less frustrating and "nope. I'm done" moments. Still, if you have the resolve and perseverance to take on the challenge that Canvaleon holds, then by all means, check this innovative title out.
[SPC Says: C-]
Review copy provided by OXiAB Game Studio.