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Game Boy Advance
Japan: July 27

bit Generations: Coloris

Take Polarium's quiet, considered approach to puzzle solving-- including the soft, ambient music--and add color. Enter Coloris.


Coloris Coloris


Where Polarium required players to solve the puzzle in one shot using one line that flips tiles to either black or white, in Coloris players advance one tile at a time by changing tile colors to form lines of like colors. The lines then disappear, filling up the player's color gauge at the top of the screen and allowing more tiles to cascade into the grid. The longer the line formed either vertically or horizontally, the more new tiles can cascade in. Form a line with a tile blinking an X and all tiles radiating out diagonally from that tile will disappear.

Apart from high scores, the most satisfying achievement is when players trigger a chain of color lines. As tiles cascade in, filling the voids where lines were formed, sometimes other lines will be formed automatically causing a chain of lines that is reflected musically. Chain-created lines are counted in an exclamation point gauge, and with a little forethought and planning players can make chains occur more frequently. The key is in color management.

As difficulty level increases players may only change a tile's color a certain number of times. In Score Mode tiles begin to go out like light bulbs, turning gray and impeding the formation of lines. As if the proximity of tertiary colors (red-orange, yellow-green, etc.) wasn't enough of a visual challenge, players must also rise above the distraction of animations that play on the surfaces of tiles. These range from a simple slow scan line to plaid pattern, from dots that make tiles appear to be rotating to petal and leaf silhouettes falling from trees in spring and autumn themed backdrops.

Aurally, Coloris sound effects are pleasingly ambient and intimately tied to onscreen action. The sound effects actually create background music as players move the cursor, flip tiles and create lines and chains. What better compliment to the idea of getting into a focused state of mind than music created by the sounds of your actions?

Three modes challenge players: Clear Mode, Score Mode and VS Mode. Clear Mode contains puzzles in Basic and Advanced categories, while Score and VS Modes challenge players to form lines amidst gray tiles. The latter is wireless competition against another player running Coloris on their GBA.

word on the street

Don't read any Japanese? Not a problem. You won't be able to read the instruction manual, but you likely won't have to. The premises here are extremely basic, and a little trial and error will reveal specific button controls. As with all games in the bit Generations series, what minimal text exists by way of main titles and headings is all in English with numbers in familiar Arabic style.

press release notes

Dots and lines, colors and sounds. bit Generations.

  • Dotstream
  • Boundish
  • Dialhex
  • Coloris
  • Orbital
  • Digidrive
  • Soundvoyager


The bit Generations software experiment by Nintendo is looking to reveal the roots of fun gameplay through simple, accessible design. All games in the series are retro-hip with little to no Japanese in them; yet they won't officially reach western shores for months to come, if at all. Intrigued? Why wait? Import!

Staff Avatar Paul Starke
Staff Profile | Email
"In Japan this was named a 'trouble bug.' (...Is it really a bug?)"

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