As that infuriating viral photo of the black and blue (or was it white and gold?) dress taught us last year, when it comes to color, your closest friends can end up labeling something a completely different hue than what you see in front of you. As if to further needle — oh, we mean test — that debate on how we perceive color, animator Erica Gorochow released Specimen, a very cool minimalist game that challenges users to match a rainbow of neon jellybeans with shifting backgrounds before the timer runs out.
Gorochow has explained that she conceived of the free game as something people could play on the subway, but — warning here — there's a danger of missing your stop if you follow these vibrant blobs across your smartphone for too long. You may think there's nothing to matching colors released into a petri dish from an eyedropper, but once these shade-shifting chameleons switch hues at increasingly faster speeds, it becomes harder to tell exactly which green, or blue, or purple that damn background has become. Tap the correct match and you earn chroma coins or patterned boosters, along with the confidence of knowing your color intuition comes correct.
New York-based Gorochow is a pro at motion design. She has done work for Red Bull Music Academy and The Creator's Project, and she did the animation for Rihanna's "Rude Boy" video — which is where she met developer buddy Sal Randazzo, who helped her conceive and create Specimen. (They also worked with programmer Charlie Whitney.)
The game has also inspired a mini-clothing line collab with Print All Over Me. In an interview for PAOM's newsletter, Gorochow said that although she hopes to give users sweet gamer sugar-highs, she also has deeper questions that the data from the game could possibly reveal: "How does NY vs LA see color? Europe vs Asia?" she asks. "Specimen is fun, first and foremost. But we hope it has the potential to reveal something otherwise invisible."
For those of you who live in New York, you could really make Gorochow's day if you just play the game on the F-Line, though. She told Motiongrapher that she'd love to spy a fellow commuter tapping away at Specimen next to her.
Download your free copy of Specimen here.