Designers: Charles Chevallier & Laurent Escoffier
Duration: 20 min.
*In Canada, we spell the word color with a u in it (colour), so I will be referring to this game by its proper spelling, but when referring to any colour or colours, it will be spelled with the u. Because I always care about U*
The world can be a little bland sometimes… so its up to you to give it some colour. But all is not peaceful… so you will have to fight to make sure your colour is the most powerful one in all the 6 worlds and defeat all the other colours. So gather your reds, oranges, green or blue armies and get ready to be the most powerful colour of all.
Color Combo is a area control game for 2-4 players which has one twist over most games of its genre: instead of placing pieces on the board, you will instead take your trusty dry-erase markers provided with the game and colour your spots in! Each board has different objectives and layouts, so its up to you to conquer them all and be the most dominant colour in all the worlds, or will you just be erased into oblivion?
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, there are just 4 dry erase markers, a dry eraser, and 18 double-sided game boards (for a total of 36 boards)! It may not seem like a lot of components, but when you think that most games come with just one or 2 boards… you’re getting quite a lot of stuff inside there! And what you do it has amazing art! There’s 6 worlds with 6 boards each, and whether you visit the future in Neo-Tokyo, travel back in time to time to the Knights of the Round Table or just follow the same old routine of life, you are in for some great artwork. There’s a lot of thought put into the worlds and art, and it shows as you play each board.
So how do you play?
The game is very simple: each player chooses a colour and takes the marker, then you will choose a board to play on. Some boards are simpler and better with 2 players, while some work for any player count and some are more challenging and work best with 4. Choose the board and theme you wish, and let’s start colouring!
The gameplay is super simple: on your turn, you may either colour a space next to a arrow (a starting space) or a space next to another coloured space (yours or your opponents). You will do this until all the spaces in the board are coloured in, and then the game ends, and you will tally up your points and the player with the most points is the winner. Yes… its that easy!
Now the interesting part is the scoring, because it’s different on each board. Some spaces will just give you straight up points, some will multiply based on other spaces, some will give you points for connecting spaces on the board to other spaces, some will give you more points based on set collection, while some will even give you negative points! The symbols are different for each world, but they are clearly explained and there’s even spaces to count your scores on each board.
Is it any good?
I’ll be honest… when I first opened up the box, I thought the game looked cool but felt that it was just a novelty and too simple… but the more I played it, I really found not only myself loving this game, but everyone I introduced it to as well. It’s perhaps one of the most accessible games I have ever played, and while it’s so simple I’m always down to play it… and here is why.
First of all… who doesn’t love colouring in? It’s extremely satisfying and as simple as it seems, that mechanic makes the game very refreshing and super accessible to non-gamers. People walking by are super intrigued because it just looks so inviting. It’s perhaps one of the best ways to get people into games, and that alone makes this game worth it.
But there’s more, because there’s a lot of replayablitly. Yes, some of the boards kind of repeat, but how many other games have different versions? Like there’s the zombie edition, future edition, viking edition, etc… yet there’s all that in this box. Wanna play in the jungle? There’s the safari world. Feeling a little sic-fi? Neo-Tokyo has you covered. Hungry for donuts? Donut world’s got you down. And even if the maps have the same objectives, they’re laid out differently and have a different feel.
I already said how great the game looks, but I really wanna give a big shout out to the art. 4 different artists give each world a unique flavour, and it’s fun colouring in different worlds, as simple as it seems. I love the colourful art of Neo-Tokyo the best, but the Knights of the Round Table is a close 2nd. If you ask my daughter though, donuts are the best…
Speaking of kids, this is a amazing game for kids, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like a kids game. It plays fast (15-20 minutes), so it’s enough to grab their attention and not lose it. But it’s also a perfect lunchtime game, or a quick game on the go, and you can easily play it traveling because there are no pieces and you can pass the board around with ease.
I also love how they put scoring areas on the side for each player. After you are done the game, simply fill out the score area yourself in your colour and do the math. That makes it easy and no score pads are required.
Is there really anything negative to say? Well… don’t leave the caps off the dry erase markers (like my daughter did) cause they dry out easily. They will eventually dry out on their own one day, but they are super easy to replace as any stationary store carries them, but that’s still one negative, cause it’s a pain. And be careful not to smudge the board as you play!
I was highly surprised about how much I love Combo Colour. It seemed like it would almost be too simple and basic, but colouring in the spaces drew me in, and the fun gameplay and gorgeous art made me stay for the journey. I love that it’s a game I can play with my daughter, and then bring it to game night and play it with my friends as well. Colour Combo may be one of my favourite surprises of this year, and it’s a game I highly enjoy and will keep coming back to. It’s not a deep experience by any means, but it offers a fun experience than many games can’t replicate. I really recommend Colour Combo!
- Gorgeous art, and amazing variety as well
- Huge replayability in the game
- The colouring just feels so much more satisfying than putting down a piece
- Easy to teach and extremely accessible perhaps the ultimate gateway game
- Quick play time, and works great anywhere (especially travel, because there are no pieces)
- Dry erase markers wear out (especially when your kids leave the caps off…), but luckily you can get them at any stationary store as a replacement. And be careful not to accidentally rub off coloured in sections with your sleeves…
*Thank you to Asmodee Canada for providing a copy of Combo Colour for this review, and you can find more about them and their games by clicking here.*