Color Ranger has a pretty compelling name. It almost sounds like it belongs to a Power Ranger - you know, that lone wolf sixth Ranger that tends to hang by the sidelines and do things on their own terms.
In actuality, Color Ranger has nothing to do with spandex suits, martial arts, or vehicles that combine to become bigger, sillier vehicles. However, it's a pretty cool mix of pinball, pool, and block-breaking games like Breakout.
It's a bit repetitive and reliant on luck, and it utilises a free to play system that might make some users balk, but don't knock it until you've tried it. Knock around some coloured cubes instead.
Don't be a square
Each level of Color Ranger begins with an arrangement of differently-coloured squares scattered around a black playing field. Players pull back a ball and release to send it careening around the stage.
When the ball hits a cube, it inherits that cube's colour. Then, and only then, will the ball be capable of erasing same-coloured cubes from the playing field. As cubes disappear, more appear in seemingly random patterns.
The object of Color Ranger is to knock away specified numbers of cubes within a certain number of moves. For instance, you may have forty moves with which to knock away ten red cubes, ten yellow cubes, and ten blue cubes.
There are also levels wherein the object is simply to rack up a high score by knocking away cubes of any colour.
Unsurprisingly, the game mounts efforts to get you to blow moves needlessly. There may be coloured cubes on the playing field that don't count towards your total. There are also barriers that can't be gotten rid of.
Knock 'em around
Succeeding in Color Ranger requires strategy as well as a generous handful of luck.
You need to learn how to bank shots off edges and corners in order to grab everything you need, especially once impenetrable barriers are thrown into the mix.
At the same time, the arrangement of the cubes seems random. Obviously, it's far easier to succeed at a level if all the blue cubes you need to knock out are located in a comfortable little cluster.
But Color Ranger is saved - and livened up - by the inclusion of the super ball.
When you knock out five cubes of one colour - any colour - your ball transforms into a super ball. When pulled back and let loose, the super ball demolishes everything in its path, and those cubes go towards your final count.
It's a minor mechanic, but it carries enough weight to make it worth looking forward to whenever you start a new level.
Despite the gradual inclusion of new obstacles and hazards, Color Ranger's gameplay doesn't change up much from level to level.
There's also a lives system, so when you fail to achieve a level goal, you lose a life. After five losses, you must wait for a refill or purchase more lives with hard currency (diamonds).
Despite this repetition and the free-to-play system (which honestly isn't bad, as the game is quite merciful, especially in its early levels), The action in Color Ranger carries a certain weight and motion that makes it an attractive play.