Note that this based on a pre-release version of the game and the finished components and rules may differ, but it’ll still be cool.
Now here’s a thing, when was the last time you indulged in some coloring in? Can’t remember right, neither could I, how had it come that I’d not indulged in a pastime that I’d spent countless happy hours at as a kid wearing felt tip pens down to nubs scribbling away at my Black Hole coloring book deliriously desperate to stay within the lines.
I loved coloring and I’m sure that everyone’s brains are hardwired to enjoy this retro art related pastime, there’s some deep primal joy at finishing a picture and beholding its garish kaleidoscopic majesty. Now what if I told you you could travel back to those care free times and indulge yourself guilt free because now its a game.
That got your attention right!
Chroma Cubes is the game and its so simple and an amazing concept its brain boggling that nobody has thought of this before. To play it couldn’t really be any simpler, each player rolls 5 custom dice whose facings contain two separate colors, you use these results to fill in a picture that resembles a page from a coloring book, there’s slight difference in that all the areas to color have letters for the color preassigned. Now here’s the rub, some parts of the pictures require more than just one color facing, some need two maybe even four red facings before you can fill it in, As an example in this picture you’ll need three red facings RRR to color the side of the box. Play continues like this with each player drifting off into a happy place as they color in their picture occasionally sneaking a look at the opposition to see what they are doing.
But then suddenly everything gets terribly serious, and instead of a casual kindergarten fluffy entertainment it descends into a vicious battle of wits and luck pushing. You see you can only re-roll any dice if you have used its facing to color that turn, as an option you can hold back dice banking specific colors for the next round. And once you’ve used all of your dice then you start a 30 second timer and everyone has to finish before it runs out, anything you’ve not used is locked.
Around the half way point things get real, you see in the early stages its a lot easier to color in areas and most players go for maximum coverage filling in as much of their picture as they can using the spread of the dice. its only later when suddenly there are less and less options and those dice begin to lock and its clear that you have colored yourself into a dead end. And worse as your opponents start to complete sections of the picture they score and those valuable points drop away fast.
Now players can exchange dice between themselves and possibly your opponent might do that if it helps their cause but most of the time they are going to take a look at your picture and their dice and decline the option with a smug smile.
Yeah so this isn’t just a simple coloring game, it has elements of push your luck and set collection even some dexterity. This has all the good stuff that I love in great game design, it has the joyous tactile fun of handling the crayons and filling in the pictures, there’s the rolling of paw fulls of dice and then the tough decisions of what areas to fill in, and of course the coloring.
This is truly one of a kind and the possibilities for this game seem incredible. Just imagine a series of color books featuring your favorite comic book or movie characters. So get in now at the ground level because I have absolutely no doubt that at some point down the road as the underground coloring movement grows and this game infects our gaming tables like some rainbow hued Ebola, some bright spark with a popular IP is going to snatch this up, and then when those johnny come latelies are lording it up with their My Little Pony set you can proudly claim that you were that at the beginning, when that chromatic wave first hit.
Chroma Cubes is on Kickstarter now. There’s still time for you to jump on and see what you’ve been missing so don’t delay.