Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I’ve been playing Chroma Squad. The game is a throwback to the Power Rangers and Super Sentai series that I grew up with as a child.
The story of Chroma Squad follows five stunt actors that work on the popular TV show Super Rangers. After getting sick of their directors ridiculous demands, the actors leave to form their own studio. Players will have to help the now indie group to rise up through the television ranks to make Chroma Squad the best show ever.
That story might not sound like the most interesting, but Chroma Squad does so much with it. It runs players through troubles that an up-and-coming studio has to go through in the real world. Some of the actors take pay cuts, bills aren’t always paid on time and shooting trouble can cause the characters to have to put in extra work and really pull their resources.
One of the coolest features is the ability to customize the actors and studio when starting the game. Players can select their team from a wide variety of actors and can also select which color each of them will represent in the show. They can also name their studio, mecha and catch phrase whatever they please.
Chroma Squad is a tactical RPG that works on a grid based system. Characters can move and attack, but also have some extra moves up their sleeves. Once such move is called Teamwork. Teamwork allows characters to work off of each other in unique ways. Players can use it to launch characters further than their movement range to reach far off monsters and can also team up to attack monsters together.
Once Players have earned enough audience, which is done by following the director’s orders and pulling off flashy moves, they have the option to Chromatize. This has them morphing into the Chroma Squad and gives them extra abilities. Each character has their own roles and their abilities reflect this. Different weapons also unlock different abilities in combat.
Some villains aren’t satisfied with just being beaten and will grow in size after the battle. This will have the character jumping into their mecha to square off with the beast. Mecha combat is fairly simple and has players attacking enemies with punches and special attack. Each attack lowers the player’s chance to hit, so its a good idea to take a defensive stance after a few hits to better prepare for the monster’s turn. It’s a risk vs. rewards system that is very simple, but also works very well.
Being that Chroma Squad is actually a TV show, players will actually have to manage a studio in between shooting episodes. This has them answering fan mail, signing new contracts, hiring advertisers and much more.
One of the funnest elements of running the studio is the crafting feature. Crafting allows players to make props for their actors to use during episodes. This includes their suits, weapons and and mecha parts. Once players moves onto new sets of armor and weapons, they can recycle their old ones in hopes of getting some of their materials back. It’s not always guaranteed to work, but it’s worth the effort.
The graphics in Chroma Squad have an old school feel to them. This has become a standard for indie games and that’s alright. This game is different from so many others I’ve played because it has an overall bright feel. Everything really pops: the characters, environments and especially the special effects.
The audio in Chroma Squad is absolutely wonderful. Sound effectrs are spot on for a Power Rangers-inspired game and the music fits really well. What’s even better is the song on the title screen. It’s an actual full opening song in Japanese that is in the style of an 80s or 90s Sentai series. It’s a very nice touch that immediately impressed me the first time I loaded up the game. I’ve actually just sat on the opening screen to listen to it a few times.
Overall, Chroma Squad is a labor of love from fans of Power Rangers and Super Sentai. It’ll definitely appeal to fans of those shows and the many others that share a similar style. It’s got enjoyable combat that mixes with a wonderfully goofy story and awesome audio for what is ultimately a fun time.
Chroma Squad earns 4.5 GiN Gems out of 5!
Platforms: Linux, Mac, PC