Watercolors: The Mind-Painting Puzzle Game - Review and Playing Tips

Many of you are probably familiar with the Red-Green-Blue (RGB) color model used in many electronic systems. But, there is also another model primarily used in painting. Called RYB, it is a color model used in subtractive color mixing. So, if you combine Red and Yellow, you will get Orange. Yellow and Blue will yield Green, and Red and Blue will yield Purple.

Today, I have a brand new game that utilizes this color model as a puzzle mechanic. Called Watercolors, the game lets you paint your way to fill the glowing circles with the indicated colors. The game is simple to learn, yet difficult to master.

Watercolors is a color-mixing puzzle game where players need to paint the glowing circles with their designated colors.

The Gameplay

Watercolors have two game modes. The first mode is Free Play, which is suitable for beginners to grasp the game mechanic. The second is Time Trial, which should present seasoned players with added challenges. If you are new to the game, I would also suggest taking a look at the How to Play section first.

The first level in Free Play, properly called Noob, teaches you how to paint your way from one source to its destination. It’s fairly simple because there is only one color involved. The subsequent levels are more complicated as they introduce multiple colors into the mix.

If you’re stuck, the hints will show the next move to make. You get three hints for free, and you can get more through in-app purchase.

The Free Play mode has six level packs containing 45 levels each. I suggest starting with the easy-to-medium level pack, Two Colors, where you only deal with two primary colors at a time. If you can complete all the levels in that pack, you can move on to play Three Colors and Grid Pack.

In the Time Trial mode, you are challenged to finish as many puzzles as possible within the assigned period of time. You can choose from four periods: 30 seconds, one minute, two minutes, and four minutes. Note that there can be a huge difference in the puzzles’ difficulty levels.

Watch trailer video for Watercolors on YouTube

Things I Like

Despite being a game of color mixing, Watercolors makes it possible for colorblind players to enjoy the game. It uses shapes alongside colors to help players distinguish them. For example, it uses circles for blue, triangles for red, and squares for yellow. Hence, green can be indicated as a combination of circle and square.

The other thing that I enjoy is the level names. The developer named each level based on its context and puzzle shape; for example, the first two levels are properly named Noob and Color Mix, whereas the subsequent levels are named according to their shapes (e.g., heart, xmas tree, and athlete).

Watercolors is a free-to-play game. It includes three free hints, and you can get more hints via in-app purchase.

Playing Tips

Watercolors is a game of planning, where players are encouraged to use as few moves as possible. Here are several tips that you can use as you play the game:

  1. If you have glowing circles in different colors, try to complete the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) before the secondary ones (orange, green, and purple).
  2. Be careful not to override a primary color that you may still need in subsequent moves. Once you lose a primary color, you can never reproduce it.
  3. Combining three colors (red, yellow, and blue) will clear the circle. The same can be applied for these combinations: red/green, yellow/purple, and blue/orange.
  4. Starting from the 7th level in Three Colors pack (called Apple), you will find dead ends: glowing circles with a single entry point blocked by one or more circles of the opposing colors. You can clear the blocking color by running an opposing color through it. For example, if the blocking color is red, clear the way using green.
  5. Starting from the 12th level in Three Colors pack (called Cake), you can use the same technique (i.e., running an opposing color through a circle) to release a blocked color paint.
  6. Starting from the 16th level in Three Colors pack (called Male), you may need to store a blocking color deliberately for your next move(s). Identify where the shared path is, and block it with the opposing color of your farthest glowing circle’s color. Repeat this process for the other blocked glowing circles.
  7. Always play to solve a puzzle first, and optimize your moves later. Some puzzles in later stages can require a lot of moves to complete. For example, the level 17, 21, and 22 of the Three Colors pack require more than 10 moves to complete.
Despite being a color-mixing game, Watercolors supports colorblind players by using shapes to easily associate the colors.


Watercolors is a great puzzle for all ages. It is quite challenging for adults, yet still approachable for kids. It is also accessible to colorblind players. The game has deep content that will entertain you for many hours, but you can choose to play for as short or as long as possible in a single seating. The levels are also nicely designed to have great replay value.

Get it on the App Store: iPhone | iPad

App was provided for our honest review.