Coated is a puzzle platformer game using color changes to interact with objects and enemies. Players jump in paint buckets to mix or change their color to camouflage from enemies or interact with color specific items. There are 25 levels, with many of them being revisited to utilize their paint buckets.
Format: PC via Steam
Play time so far: 30 minutes
The puzzles and platforming in Coated are not particularly difficult. For most of the platforming, the player jumps onto static platforms or platforms with very basic movement. Puzzles involve figuring out what color is needed to clear a level and then finding the paint to mix to become that color. However the paint needed might not be in the current level. The mechanic I found most interesting for Coated was that prior levels could be revisited simply by walking (sliding?) back to the beginning of a level. Paint from prior levels could then be collected and the player would have to get back to the end of the level with the new color. This usually meant the level would have to be solved in a slightly different way.
The graphics of Coated were very colorful and clear. Paint, enemies, and objects were all clearly noticeable. The game also features very in-depth color options in the settings for players with all sorts of preferences, making the game very accessible for a range of players. I’m definitely a fan of accessible design and would love to see more of this in games.
Unfortunately Coated suffers from a number of technical problems. The first issue that became apparent to me was that boxes could be moved, even if the player did not share their color. Players are normally supposed to be the same color as a box in order to push it. This was possible by pressing the main character up against the boxes and then repeatedly jumping. It was pretty easy to do, so I can’t help but wonder if something about my hardware exposed this bug.
The other bugs I experienced were soft blocks and returning to the wrong level after restarting the game. Soft blocks happened for me when traveling backward through some of the levels, objects would spawn between my character and the exit which would cover the exit (pulling doesn’t seem to be a mechanic, no matter what color the character is). This lead me to restarting my game, wherein I discovered the third bug. If I was previously just starting a level and then restarted the game, I would load into the level after where I was supposed to be. This would act as if I had cleared the prior level even though I hadn’t. Repeatedly restarting the game could rocket the player through all the levels without actually playing any of them. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Maybe it was intended as a skip mechanics, but I disliked it since I couldn’t get the full experience of playing the level from the start as the intended color.
Overall I think Coated is a simple and colorful puzzle platformer that’s overly bogged down with technical issues. I liked the backtracking mechanics and redoing levels with new colors, and I loved the visual color accessibility available for users. Unfortunately, I found it harder to avoid not breaking the game than to actually play the levels. I recommend it only for players with more discipline in not abusing glitches, who are interested in spending a little time with the game’s simple but interesting mechanics.