Developer Acid Nerve describes its new game as ‘Portal meets Lemmings’. That’s fair, but the premise also appears to propel you into a future world of interior decorating where technology has gone mad.
Here, buckets of paint trundle about like clockwork automatons, while their paintbrush pals look on expectedly, with hopeful eyes. When the two meet, they make a big splash.
Each step on the journey is a single screen filled with platforms and, increasingly, things that obstruct or puncture semi-sentient paint buckets. You must therefore figure out a safe route to your goal, and much of this involves teleporters. These are dotted about the place, and on tapping two of them, whatever next touches one will instantly be blasted across to the other.
From the off, Telepaint is the kind of game that will daub a smile across your face. The goofy characters are amusing enough, and they and the teleporters emit blasts of paint as they go about their business, adding dashes of colour to the initially drab surroundings. Early levels are friendly and engaging, offering only a slight challenge; the result is you’ll immediately want to devour as much of the game as you can.
BE KIND REWIND
Slowly but surely, Telepaint adds layers of complexity. Soon enough, you’re dealing with multiple buckets or stacking moving blocks on a bucket, in order to figure out a way to the brush.
Routes become increasingly convoluted and labyrinthine, as you battle to avoid spikes, deal with a grinning magnetic pal, and create bridges to cross annoying gaps in the scenery. It’s here that two genius design decisions you might have already clocked become apparent.
First, it turns out the mellow tick-tock soundtrack’s metronomic beat can be vital for assisting you in levels that require precision timing (such as the aforementioned block-stacking). Secondly, the gigantic VCR-style controls at the foot of the screen enable you at any point to fast forward or, more importantly, pause — without penalty.
In the latter case, there is slightly irksome old-school screen flicker; but being able to take a breath and figure out your next move (even if doing so requires squinting through fuzz) stops Telepaint from becoming frustrating, and enhances its puzzling credentials.
In all, this is a superb game, reminiscent of iOS classic Beat Sneak Bandit and the recent Blown Away, in marrying platform action and simple touchscreen-oriented gameplay. Telepaint's more considered nature if anything makes it the superior title, though, even if after playing you’ll never look at a can of paint in quite the same way again.