• 02.16.12

Test Your Eye For Color With ColorShift

An ingenuously simple iPhone/iPad game has players sorting hues.

The best games are often simple and immediately addicting, and the ColorShift app created by AddSubtract for the iPhone and iPad is both.


The objective: Using your finger to swipe, you must arrange a set of color tiles in order from the lightest to the darkest before time runs out. It’s not such a difficult task at the outset, but as the game, which can be played in grayscale, monotone, and duotone modes, progresses, the shades of color become increasingly similar, and there are more and more tiles to move. At the end of a round, you are informed how many seconds it took you to complete the task (that is, if you are able to finish), and you can also snap a photo of the resulting color palette to admire or perhaps use as wallpaper on your Apple device.

Tyrale Bloomfield, creative director/founder of Nashville-based AddSubtract, created ColorShift with his friend Lacy Rhoades, a developer. Not surprisingly, he confesses that he has long been obsessed with color, and it was that obsession–as well as his young daughter’s questions about the hues of her wooden blocks–that inspired ColorShift.

Minimalism was key in the design of the app. “Every time I would put a word or an icon in the design I paused to think about why it was there. Does this need to be there, or is it expected to be there? Often it was the latter,” Bloomfield says.

And the focus on minimalism went beyond aesthetics. “I wanted to create a game that could be played by anyone. I don’t mean anyone that knows how to use a smartphone. I mean anyone,” Bloomfield stresses. “The best designs should transcend language and experience.”

A group of beta testers who tried out ColorShift prior to the game’s release this month was made up of a diverse group of toddlers, teenagers, adults and elderly people. “The youngest was my son at 2, who was actually better [at the game] than the oldest at 72,” Bloomfield says.

About the author

Christine Champagne is a New York City-based journalist best known for covering creativity in television and film, interviewing the talent in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes. She has written for outlets including Emmy, Variety,, Redbook, Time Out New York and