Chromatron - a game about reflections
November 28, 2007 5:28 PM   Subscribe

Chromatron 1, 2, 3 and 4 just became freeware. In these little standalone puzzle games for PC and Mac, you align splitters, benders, and mirrors to direct colored laserbeams into like-colored targets. Enjoyably difficult, and an example of great game design.

Mentioned previously on Mefi, but only in comments, so I figured that since it just became free, now would be a good time for a proper FPP.
posted by ikkyu2 (20 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I played this before. Damn near lost my mind. This is one of those many times when copyright laws are not protecting me personally. This shouldn't be freeware, cuz it makes it too tempting to play it. It should be very expensive crippleware that's way out of my price range so I'd never even be tempted to give it another try. Darn lawyers!
posted by ZachsMind at 5:39 PM on November 28, 2007


And I don't think I've ever written "OMFG" before, with the possible exception of times that I've been sarcastically imitating someone.

Chromatron was fantastic. Finding out that there is a Chromatron 2 would have been fantastic.

Finding out that there is not only a Chromatron 2, but also a Chromatron 3 and a Chromatron 4? OMFG.
posted by Flunkie at 5:45 PM on November 28, 2007

Xmas is early!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:58 PM on November 28, 2007

Ok. I've never played this before, but after 30 seconds of checking out the various versions in the Mac zip file, all I can say is: ikkyu2, you are a bad, bad person. Bad.

posted by rtha at 6:04 PM on November 28, 2007

Oh, man, these games took over my life for like 2 months a couple of years ago. They were totally worth the $25 or whatever it used to be.

P.S. Another great free game that'll take over your life: Escape. (previously) There's been a glut of crappy levels recently, but if you seek out the highly-rated ones, there's some really crazy stuff.
posted by equalpants at 6:52 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Very tough, very fun. Thanks, ikkyu2!
posted by painquale at 7:25 PM on November 28, 2007

Reminds me of playing Laser Chess in middle school.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:32 PM on November 28, 2007

This is perfect. Recently went down (then up, then down again for good it seems) and this seems like an acceptable replacement.
posted by majick at 7:40 PM on November 28, 2007

Blazecock Pileon, don't know if you know, there's a new physical version of laser chess: Khet, which was released as Deflexion a couple of years ago.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:22 PM on November 28, 2007

posted by pmbuko at 8:45 PM on November 28, 2007

For Mac folks having trouble opening the files (1. Downloading Stuffit expander requires signing up for their mailings. 2. The damn DMG won't even open.) check out The Unarchiver.

Now off to test my mettle.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:19 AM on November 29, 2007

I typed the original laser chess in to my Commodore from the pages of Compute!'s Gazette. I think it was in MLX format. I was aware at the time that I would never have anyone to play it with, but it looked too cool to pass up.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:27 AM on November 29, 2007

That's sad, Wolfdog. I would have played you.

In other news, Chromatron 1.22 just broke my brain. There are hints and solutions available if you feel your brain breaking at any time.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:35 AM on November 29, 2007

Wow, this is really complicated! I'm up to level thirty in the first game, and there's still so much further to go. It sure seems impossible, but I've felt that same feeling many times already. I should probably put this to the side. Little logic games like these distract me from working like nothing else can. But I refuse to look at the answers!
posted by painquale at 11:46 AM on November 29, 2007

Got it! Phew. OK, now I really quit (he says insincerely).
posted by painquale at 11:53 AM on November 29, 2007

Yeah, thanks for the post ikkyu2. I remember playing some levels of this somewhere before but having a whole collection of them on my own machine is pretty sweet.

With puzzles like this, designing good puzzles is as much a puzzle as solving other people's puzzles, but much less quantifiable. What makes a "good" puzzle? You just know it when you see it.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:00 PM on November 29, 2007

The author is a friend of mine; he's a smart dude. I feel like a lot of these puzzles are a serious right-brain IQ test.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:42 AM on November 30, 2007

It looks like it must have been incredibly difficult to design a lot of these puzzles. Kudos to your friend, ikkyu2. What makes most of the levels especially great is the number of Aha! moments you need to have in order to solve them. Some puzzle will look completely impossible, and then you'll realize, Aha! I need to put the prism on the OTHER side of the quantum splitter! But then it's still not obvious where exactly to put it and how to line all the mirrors up right, so you need another Aha moment, and you're not completely sure if the first one was justified. Great, great level design.
posted by painquale at 1:41 PM on November 30, 2007

These are great fun! Thanks ikkyu.
posted by goo at 12:18 PM on December 1, 2007

The power just went out when I was working on 1-49. I feel so deflated right now.
posted by goo at 9:51 AM on December 2, 2007

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