The DS version of Sonic Colours shares its plot, locations, and special wisp abilities with the more prominent Wii version, but looks and feels thoroughly different. For the most part, the graphics are true 2D and the action is of the classic side-scrolling variety; the former are pleasing if not outstanding, but the latter delivers a top notch high-speed platforming experience. The novel colour-coded wisp powers are fun additions, nicely integrated into play. The result is a great portable Sonic game, albeit one let down by its length and throwaway side missions.
Ready for this jelly.
Colours is set in a giant orbital theme park built by Dr. Robotnik (Dr. Eggman, if you insist) as an interstellar apology for all of his evil deeds. Of course, it turns out the park is really an instrument for further evil deeds, with Eggman imprisoning the park's unsuspecting alien visitors, called wisps. And, of course, Sonic and Tails are there to thwart him. That's the premise for Sonic to go blasting through the park, liberating wisps as he goes. The storytelling is mostly executed in still images and text; these are functional but no more than that--there's little pretense that this is a story-driven game.
There are six themed zones in the park, including the neon Starlight Carnival and Candyland-like Sweet Mountain. The flat, 2D levels look good--a crisp upgrade on old-school 2D Sonic environments--but more on the strength of the visual design than any technical achievement. The action is displayed on both screens, meaning big loop-the-loops stretch across both and Sonic gets flung up onto the upper screen when he hits a spring. The two-screen display works nicely, with the extended vertical range giving advance warning of hazards above or below Sonic. Among these hazards, there are mercifully few cheap instant deaths, with lethal pitfalls kept to a minimum.