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 Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop)

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Professor Clayton
Professor Clayton

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PostReview: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop)

A Colorful New Approach to Stealth

Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop) Spy-ch10

Stealth games are something of a rarer genre of titles when compared to ones like platformers and fighters, which is why it is a treat to see a smaller development team try their hand at a new interpretation. Unfinished Pixel and EnjoyUp Games inject the series with a new idea, the idea of controlling a chameleon and using color to assist in your concealment throughout the game.

At first, Spy Chameleon behaves like any normal stealth game would, simply having you avoid enemies range's of sight by running around their highlighted moving viewing ranges. The game takes a top down view, one which works quite well for displaying everything on the screen around your webbed-foot robber. Enemies and levels all have a certain mellow feel to them which impresses yet remains easy on the eyes.

Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop) Spy-chameleon-wiiu_004

Soon the game introduces the main concept of swapping your color to match the color of the ground beneath you. By using the A B Y and X buttons you can switch the color of your chameleon to Red, Yellow, Blue or Green on the fly throughout each level. By blending into the ground beneath your chameleon is virtually invisible to the enemies, and provides a fun change of pace from simply hiding behind walls. Later levels offer multiple color changing tiles on the floor which require quick thinking, to the point where you almost can't sit still for fear of being seen. The game rewards skill over simply waiting around, which is a real treat in a stealth game.

A wide variety of enemies and items are introduced as the adventure unfolds over the course of over 70 levels, with moving walls, switches, edible flies and even a Metal Gear inspired box coming into play. While the levels possibly could have become boring over the course of the game, these changes are all offered frequently enough to make Spy Chameleon exciting and new from beginning to end, without messing with the difficulty curve at all.

Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop) Spy-chameleon-wiiu_003

Each level lasts anywhere from ten seconds to a few minutes long depending on both the difficulty of the level and your skill in finding the best path to the end. Throughout each level are a handful of flies to collect, and collecting these is essential to unlocking new levels. This doesn't ever seem to be a problem, as it ensures that you understand the current concept before you move on, and never once did we have to backtrack to collect more flies to advance, since they are arranged in such a way that following their trail leads you to the exit.

In addition to collecting flies you can choose to clear each level in a set amount of time, and doing either of these unlocks ladybugs hidden in the level for you to gather. While Spy Chameleon isn't the longest of games on an initial playthrough, taking maybe three to four hours, the longevity of collecting every item across both difficulty levels increases the time dramatically.

Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop) Spy-chameleon-wiiu_002

The best part of Spy Chameleon might just be how slick the game runs, with the game holding a steady framerate, providing little waiting time between levels loading and even including an online leaderboard for each of the game's levels. The music is set to change every 15 levels from one set of tracks to the next, with each one randomly playing every few levels. No song is particularly memorable, but there are no duds in the mix either, as they all provide a nice and pleasing backdrop to the gameplay.

Spy Chameleon is an exciting take on the typically straightforward stealth genre of games, combining light puzzle solving with color matching and platforming all in one. With a low price point and a high number of levels to beat and achievements to unlock, there is a lot to do before your time in Spy Chameleon is up. While there might not be much buzz for Spy Chameleon on the eShop, it is definitely one of the most enjoyable games to be found there; hopefully it manages to stand out from the rest over time and not just blend right in.


Review copy provided by: EnjoyUp Games
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Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop) :: Comments

Re: Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop)
Post Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:25 pm by Dash
Great review, Clay! I don't think I'll be picking this one up but it definitely looks interesting.
Re: Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop)
Post Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:44 pm by Knuckles
Huh, the stealth element sounds well implemented, will have to pick this up whenever I get a Wii U

Review: Spy Chameleon (Wii U eShop)

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