Shape Palette weaponises the colour wheel and shape forms to keep you forward planning and guessing how you can fit all the coloured shapes into a much smaller defined space. You’ll need to plan ahead and think about object placement to complete the game but Shape Palette is a brief and intriguing puzzler.
Each level provides you with a collect of slots to fill and you must use the shapes provided to you, in the order they come to you from the left hand side of the screen. There are more shapes than there are places though and this is where the colour wheel comes into play. If you place a red shape of the same type next to a yellow shape and then merge them together, it will turn into a single orange shape. Red and blue will make purple and so on. Levels start off with just this single mechanic to get you used to shape placement as the player has free reign to place things in the wrong slot and make mistakes. The opening world gets you used to this idea before introducing multiple shapes where squares and circles must be merged together too.
However, Shape Palette evolves so that not only are you merging colours constantly but when you merge two shapes, they transform to a different shape too. There are squares, circles, triangles and pentagons and this is where Shape Palette excels. You know all the rules but you have to forward plan to understand how to keep the level moving. I found myself using the undo feature a lot as I moved ideas around to work my way through the game. Thankfully moves are quick and easy to do although sometimes the graphics are a little garish. It’s also very bright and I’d love to see a dark mode added at a later time.
Across the games 49 levels, which thankfully you can largely skip around and choose from, other mechanics are added. There is a selection of levels where colours splash out to surrounding shapes and other levels with banned slots to finish in. The interesting thing for me is that whilst I understood the mechanics and enjoyed the juggle of having two things transforming at the same time, I never felt quite fully engaged. I usually really enjoy minimalist puzzle games but this one didn’t feel as intuitive as many others and I think that reduced my enjoyment down a little. That said, Shape Palette does nothing wrong. You may end up much more engrossed that I did and its still a fair recommendation for fans of the cheaper side of Steam’s puzzle games.
Review copy provided by developer. Shape Palette is available on Steam.
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