There are platforming levels and there are story-driven levels, but few balance these two elements as well as Colors. The basic premise this time around is that Juni and her friend have landed on a desolate, though still somehow inhabited, island and are temporarily trapped by a terrible storm. Other than the villagers, the island is almost completely devoid of color and even the water is pitch black with the only glaring exception being the vibrant home of the mysterious elder. After the initial walk through the village Juni must explore three locations, each of which gives her a new ability and restores some form of life, and color, to the island. This is an almost entirely linear level, but each of the three locations has unique challenges. The first area has plenty of lasers and wall jumping, the second area is the most vertical of the three and makes extensive use of the umbrella, and the final area is all about precise jumping with careful timing.
The extent to which the island changes after each area is impressive and NPC dialogue changes as the game goes on as well, making it worthwhile to walk all the way through the village after each adventure even though it’s not necessary. However, some subtle storytelling is still at work even when Juni is not in the village as Juni must travel backwards through every area after reaching its end and gaining the ability it has to offer. This trip back to town occurs after restoring part of the island and the effects of your actions can be seen all around you. These changes are also not just purely aesthetic either as new hazards will pop up along the way, forcing you to make use of your newly acquired ability in order to return alive. Checkpointing is also good for the most part, though there are a few longer or just slower sections along the way which I wish had one more checkpoint and the difficulty overall is challenging without being overly demanding.