It’s a double edged sword when a game seems to end too quickly. That means it was good enough for you to rush through, leaving you desperate for more. It also means you’ve run out of new content to play, which isn’t so great. That’s the issue for Chameleon Run, but mostly? It’s just plain excellent fun.
You control a blocky little guy who can switch color. This is important because Chameleon Run is an auto runner that heavily relies on jumping and color switching at just the right moment. Each level weighs in at 25 seconds at the most for your first run, but that can soon drop down as you master what to do and when. A tap on the right hand side of the screen has you jump or double jump, while the left hand side of the screen makes you change color between yellow and and pink.
That’s an incredibly simple control system, but you’re going to need all the help you can get as Chameleon Run demands that you react quickly. Later stages require you to tap at just the right moment and get your timing spot on. You also learn new techniques, such as how tapping on any colored location ‘resets’ your jumping options, meaning you can double jump all over again. Those techniques make a huge difference in terms of your chances of succeeding — but this is also when you’ll begin to notice that, while challenging, Chameleon Run isn’t the longest game out there.
A mere handful of levels will no doubt make you feel nervous about its longevity. Don’t worry about it. Where Chameleon Run rewards you is through repeatedly replaying stages. There, you can aim for special objectives such as collecting marbles or special smoking crystals. Complete those objectives and you unlock the hardest challenge of them all – completing a level without changing color. Oh, and that’s without taking into account the speed run mode that has you potentially completing levels in a matter of 6 or 7 seconds.
That’s where Chameleon Run’s mere handful of levels doesn’t seem so bad. Enjoyment comes from honing your abilities — gradually working towards better times and more efficient routes. There’s that whole ‘just one more go’ feeling to what unfolds here. You’ll find yourself gravitating to it for a quick session, then realizing you’ve been playing it for 30 minutes. It’s all so simple yet beguiling that you’ll find yourself keen to keep pushing, keen to scrape a few more milliseconds off your last best time. Finish up a level, and you can check out a replay of what you did. You’ll find yourself analyzing where you screwed up, and where you can shave some seconds off your best time.
That’s not to say you won’t be craving more levels. I’m hoping that a content update is in Chameleon Run’s near future, but I’m pleased with what I’ve played so far. The more I played, the more I realized what subtle tweaks have been made. Changing color at just the right moment can give you a teensy speed burst, and those increases soon add up. Chameleon Run has more depth than it has any right to offer, and you’ll soon be itching to nail all the objectives along the way.