There's no doubting that the DS is a haven for puzzle games. With dual screens and the touch interface Nintendo has created a platform that is perfect puzzlers and Eidos is looking to take advantage of those with their new puzzle game PRISM: Light the Way.
There's a plot behind PRISM:Light but it's a bit out there. Here goes what I learned from the opening segment of the game. The Globos live inside Black Holes and live off the light that gets absorbed by Black Holes (I'm guessing Stephen Hawkings was not involved with the production of the game). The Globos have been attacked by monsters who eat the light and that's where you, the light emitting Bulboids come into the picture. It's up to you to save the Globos by re-directing your light onto them. You do this by redirecting your Bulboids light with mirrors and t-shaped connectors to illuminate the Globos. Yes, your job to shine the light where the sun doesn't shine. Some Globos can only handle certain colors of light which requires you to use prisms to change the color of the light to suit the Globos. I'm not sure if this is just a gameplay element or on social commentary on the state of Globos racial relations but it does add another level of difficulty to the game.
The game ships with four single player modes (Puzzle, Time, Hyper, and Infinite) as well as some multiplayer offerings. I haven't had a chance to try out the multiplayer modes yet but I did like what I saw from the single player side of the game. The Puzzle mode is exactly what you would expect. There are 120 pre-built puzzles that get more difficult as you progress through them. introducing new gameplay elements as you progress. The puzzles themselves are solid and I will admit to using the help function on more than one occasion. Once you get done with the built in puzzles you can flip over to the Infinte mode which generates new puzzles on the fly.
Solving these puzzles is fairly peaceful as you can take your time placing the elements on screen with the stylus. On the opposite side of the equation are the Timed and Hyper modes which require you to quickly light up Globos as they appear around the board. There puzzle part of the game for these modes is turned down as the focus is on moving the mirrors around to light up the Globos in the allocated amount of time. It's a nice change of pace from the Puzzle and Infinte modes and should provide a nice challenge for those looking for something a bit faster paced.
Moving items around on the screen is just a matter of dragging them where you want to go which works well with the slower puzzle modes but can be a little slow when accessing the faster paced Hyper and Time modes. That's more a limit of the platform than anything else and something that could improve with me spending more time with those portions of the game.
Graphically the game has an interesting art style which won't dissuade the stereotype that artists like to use perception altering substances. If the Teletubbies were line art it would look a lot like PRISM:Light the Way. I'm not saying that it's a bad style as it works for the game I'm just saying it's a bit on the trippy side.
I'm going to spend a little more time with the game this week and kick out a proper review in the near future. I'm interested to see what the mutliplayer side of the game is like but if you're looking for a decent puzzle game you might want to check out PRISM:Light the Way. It's not the best puzzle game out there but it's a fairly solid entry into the field.
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