Color Jumper Visual Accessibility
- Visual Characteristics - 9
- Accessibility Features - 9.5
- Difficulty and Assist Modes 6/10 - 6
- Nonvisual Cues - 1
- Text and Interface - 8.5
- Controls and Depth Perception - 9
Think of Color Jumper as the love child between Hue and Super Meat Boy. It’s a platformer where you control a square that has different colors on each side. Each time you jump, the square rotates, meaning that the colors are facing different directions. There are platforms that are only solid when the matching color is in the correct position, adding a puzzle element to the gameplay. It’s designed to be a difficult platformer, full of challenges. Will the challenge have you jumping for joy or red with frustration?
About me and my play style: I have albinism. My visual acuity fluctuates between 20/100 and 20/500 depending on if I’m wearing contacts and how tired I am. I have color vision, but no depth perception. I also deal with eye strain if I have to focus too precisely for too long.
Visual Characteristics 9/10
(Contrast, Lighting, Tracking, Clutter)
Color Jumper seems to have taken inspiration directly from my How To Make Platformers Better article. The art style is very minimalistic and high contrast. There is no clutter to speak of, making it easy to track your square’s movement.
The only notes I would mention are that it would be nice to be able to highlight certain colors on the square. I was able to play without difficulty, but it would have made instances easier for me if the game could intelligently highlight the needed color. Additionally, some of the hazards could have been marked more clearly. I was able to see the hazards just fine, but I had to test them once to figure out that they were hazards, and it would have been nice if it were more obvious at first glance.
Accessibility Features 9.5/10
Color jumper gives you options to adjust the music and special effects independently. It also gives you options to disable rumble and turn on the colorblind mode – which uses card suits instead of colors. You can also select whether you want to see “ghosts” which are translucent shadows of where you failed on previous attempts. Finally, you have an option to have the game count your rotations in degrees (90, 180, 270, etc.) or in plain numbers (1, 2, 3, 4). This gives an additional indicator of your square’s orientation. Each level has a “par” of sorts that tells you the minimum number of jumps required to beat the level.
My only major issue with the accessibility features is that the symbols in the colorblind mode are quite small. Otherwise, I found the accessibility features to be adequate, though I would have liked additional audio cues.
Difficulty and Assist Modes 6/10
Color Jumper is a difficult game. There is no “easy mode” to make platformers or your square larger. I would have liked to see an option to make your square larger, if only just to make it easier to see. However, for what Color Jumper is designed to be – a tough as nails platformer – it is very approachable. At the touch of a button, you can skip a level, without even having to sit through a patronizing speech, though you can only skip so many levels before you need to complete more to earn additional skips. An assist mode would be greatly appreciated, but skipping levels worked better for me than I was expecting. I anticipated that if I couldn’t manage a level, the next level would be even harder. However, because of the puzzle elements, I found that the platforming difficulty did not jump drastically from level to level. Skipping levels gave me the option to move past levels that I couldn’t solve, allowing me to enjoy the platforming all the more.
If you want a more difficult mode, there are additional achievements for completing each level within the given number of jumps and a certain time limit. I appreciate the flexibility since most of the time, it was all I could do to finish the level at all.
Nonvisual Cues 1/10
Color Jumper’s major failing comes in the area of nonvisual cues. There is not even a sound when you jump. The special effects seem to only indicate during menu navigation. Audio cues for menu navigation are helpful, but audio cues could be used in any number of more helpful ways. It would be very helpful to me to have a different jump sound to indicate the square’s different orientations. Additional audio cues could indicate the presence of a color platform or to indicate that you have landed a jump solidly.
As it is now, any audio cues would be better than what’s there. Hopefully a future patch can address this issue.
Text and Interface 8.5/10
The text on the menu is a nice sans-serif, all-caps font, but I would like to see it be a more high-contrast color than light grey on dark grey. The text could be larger, particularly the prompt telling you how to skip levels. However, since this is all in the menu, it’s easy enough to use the Switch’s zoom feature if you have any trouble with the menu.
Controls and Depth Perception 9/10
The controls are very sensitive, and it might have been nice to be able to adjust the sensitivity for myself. Half the time, I feel like I move too fast to be able to react in time. However, once you get used to the controls, they’re very responsive. You cannot remap controls, but I won’t hold that against the game. Both the left stick and D pad control left-right movement, and all four right face buttons control jumping.
Recommendation for visual skills needed for enjoyment
With good color vision, I am going to guesstimate that you could play the game with 20/600 to 20/800 vision. At 20/800, you would definitely need good color vision and good movement tracking skills. Overall, I recommend Color Jumper. It was such a joy for me to review because it seems so rare that I find a platformer with high contrast, minimalist aesthetic that makes it visible. Color Jumper is a platformer for people who like platforming. It doesn’t bother with a complex story or intricate backgrounds, and that really improves the core experience.
A review copy of Color Jumper was provided by the developer / publisher.