If further evidence was necessary that adults of today are lost in a haze of childhood nostalgia - all the Kickstarter campaigns promising to bring back beloved franchises from years gone by, and viral Facebook photos of 'stuff from when you were a kid' - here's Colorfy, the digital coloring book for adults.
Nostalgia aside, Colorfy fails to grasp the basic relaxing nature of coloring in, turning the pastime into a bland experience of almost mindless tapping.
Coloring-in made easy!
The concept is simple, fill in line drawings with the colors of your choice. It's just like the real thing, except you tap to fill areas, instead of scribbling in them trying to stay within the lines. Make a mistake, and you can hit the 'back' button. The app comes with a selection of colors and various patterns and pictures to color. It's free, and you can also buy extra packs of colors and volumes of pictures.
Colorfy says it is 'coloring therapy' and a way to fight stress or anxiety. But in my experience it fails completely. There is something therapeutic about coloring in, but take away the concentration necessary to stay within the lines and the small satisfaction of filling areas, and you are left with yet another mobile app where you simply absentmindedly tap the screen.
Less relaxing than the real thing
Tapping to fill areas is the problem. Coloring in manually forces you to slow down, work at the speed of a crayon, but that is totally absent here. I find myself getting frustrated at the hit and miss accuracy of tapping areas, and the minuscule wait between tapping and color appearing on the picture. Coloring in digitally makes it too simple, which in turn makes it frustrating instead of relaxing. While I may find the nostalgia of coloring books for adults infuriating, I can admit that it can be relaxing. Doing so digitally is much less so.
There are lots of apps that allow you to color and draw manually, and these are much better - they demand you concentrate, which focuses your mind so you relax. Check out Tayasui Sketches or Adobe Sketch. Colorfy is another digital distraction, and using it feels closer to playing Candy Crush than it does to coloring in. The price of extra colors, $2.99 per pack, is also pretty steep and there is no 'unlock everything' option.
Colorfy is a very simple coloring-in app for adults. But by simplifying real life coloring-in, this app turns a relaxing pastime into a brainless tapfest. Colorfy feels like a missed opportunity, and one filled with expensive in-app purchases.