It might be a "battle of colours", two "enemies" engaging in a "fight" to "conquer the territory" on the "battlefield". Or, despite Infogrames' martial marketing efforts, 7 Colors might just be a puzzle game with brightly colored diamonds.
In the wake of Alexey Pajitnov's block-busting Tetris, Infogrames licensed another Russian mathematician's concept for a game of logics and dexterity: Two players start from opposite ends of a board, filled with rectangles of seven different colors, and take turns in picking one of these colors. All diamonds of that color bordering on the player's territory are annexed, expanding the borders. Whoever first controls more than half of the terrain wins.
Some quirks add tactical depth: The color chosen is locked for the opponent for one turn; drawing lines from one border of the field to another fills all the space in between. In addition, boards come in various diamond sizes, color textures and with obstacle stones. A (generous) time limit exerts soft pressure.
7 Colors can be played against the computer or a human opponent, even over a local network - a rare feature at the time. Ambitious players may design their own boards with the included editor.
Although Infogrames tright to make an action-packed battle for territory out of it, 7 Colors is simply a puzzle game riding along on the Tetris hype. Funnily enough, the game was also invented by a Russian, Dmitry Pashkov. The target is simple: try to gain control over the playing field, by filling all the diamonds with your color, before your opponent does it.
It's a turn-based game which can be played against a computer or against a human player. It can even be played over a LAN or a serial link to another computer (not tested). Each player gets to pick a color out of the available 7 (which is where the game gets its name from naturally) and all diamonds of that color adjacent to you own diamonds become yours. Then, all your diamonds are turned into the color you chose. Sounds confusing? Play it for 3 seconds and you know what I mean. If you manage to create a link between edges of the playing field, you conquer the entire enclosed space and gain lots of territory.
The game is pretty tough to beat (I haven't yet) and there are very many playing fields to choose from. Some are small, some are large and some have obstacles. If you ever manage to get bored with the available field, there's also an editor so you can create your own. All in all, this gives the game pretty much infinite hours of gameplay!
The graphics are pretty decent, either in EGA or VGA. Control is either done by keyboard, mouse or joystick. If you pick the keyboard, player 1 has to use 'z' and 'c' to go through the row of colors and 'x' to select it. Player two uses the '1', '2' and '3' from the numeric keyboard. Music is cute and classical (three songs by Bach and one by Mozart) and tends to be a bit like the Tetris-tune. You'll be humming it all day after having played a couple of games... All in all, it's a solid game, with good quality graphics, sound and gameplay. Still, it's not quite as good as Tetris, Columns or BlockOut though, but it won't disappoint you.
Simple solo or two-player brainteaser developed by Russian company GAMOS. Also known as Filler, which describes the game principle fairly well. You have to fill a board of different colored tiles starting from your corner by choosing from seven colors. The color you choose determines which tiles you will gain. You can't choose the color your opponent has selected in his last move. Can be played against the computer, but more fun against a human opponent. The game even supports LAN multiplayer mode-a rarity in puzzle games. I find the tiles a bit too small to be fun for long, and staring at the game after a while gave me a headache. But if you like visual puzzle games and aren't afraid of going color blind, give 7 Colors a try. The concept, at least at the time of its release, is unique, and the implementation is very good. If only the tiles were bigger, this would have been a Top Dog in my book.
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