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Prism: Light the Way Review

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Developer: Eidos Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: October 16, 2007 Also On: None

Every now and then, a game comes along that makes a game reviewer stand up and take notice, a game so different from the mainstream that it is unable to be ignored. Prism: Light the Way is certainly that type of game, even though I have fond memories of an old computer game from my elementary school years with a similar concept. Since that time, I have not seen anything like this. What is it that makes Prism: Light the Way so special on a system where puzzle games are so numerous? Read on to find out.

Graphically, there is not really anything that special about Prism. Everything animates well and looks very nice for what is expected of a puzzle game, but this game is not going to be busting the graphics engine of the DS. On the sound front, much the same can be said. The music is nice and doesn’t detract from the game, and the sound effects sound appropriate for this type of game, but once again, there is nothing jaw-dropping.

Jaw-dropping aesthetics are not necessary for a game like this though. The concept behind Prism is relatively simple to grasp. A race of beings called Glowbos live on a planet in a black hole, feeding off light and sending it off to various parts of the universe. Unfortunately, a monster has blocked the entrance to this black hole and the light is no longer flowing. Luckily, another race of beings called the Bulboids have come to the rescue. The objective of this game is to maneuver Bulboids and other objects in such a way as to give light to all of the Glowbos.

This game is a perfect one for stylus use. Granted, you can control the game using buttons and the D-pad, but this game is so much easier with the stylus. You can simply tap and drag objects around the screen with it to put them where you want them. The control responds perfectly and you can never blame the stylus when an object does not end up where you wanted it to.

You beat a puzzle in this game when every Glowbo is lit up. But it gets more complicated than that. Not only do the Glowbos need to be lit up, but they need to be lit up with the correct color of light. So you have objects that can reflect light at 90 degree angles, objects that can change the color of light, and objects that can split a light beam into more than one. Some objects can perform more than one of these functions, while some objects perform only one.

In each level you will only be given a certain amount of objects. You do not have an infinite supply of every type of object like in the game I remember from my childhood. However, in that game the objective was to make the rocket hit the target as fast as possible, and in this game the objective is just to get through the level with the limited objects you are given, a much more difficult task, especially as you get into the higher tiers.

The primary mode of this game is simply a set of 120 puzzles laid out over fourteen tiers. There are no time limits to prevent you from experimenting, and all you have to try to do is light all the Glowbos with the proper color. For the first four tiers, you can even get hints if you need them to get through a level, but after those first few tiers, you are completely on your own. This is the type of game that can get you to think without being like Brain Age and overtly tell you it is trying to make you think, which is certainly a good thing especially amidst all of the games coming out these days that require virtually no thought at all.

But let us say you get bored with that. There are other modes to be played in this game. There is an infinite mode where new puzzles will be given to you randomly for as long as you want. There are also a couple modes where you can play against the clock if you truly want more of a challenge than just a leisurely battle against the puzzle itself. For those of you with friends, this game even has two-player modes that can be played through DS download play, meaning your friend does not even have to own the game to do it.

So far as creativity is concerned, I have not seen a game like this in ages, and the one I have seen is far more primitive than this one. I, in fact, would assume that this game was built from scratch, and the result is a game that is so different from most other games out there that it would be worth a look for fans of thinking games based simply on how different it is if it was not such a good game to boot.

In terms of replay value, the later puzzles can get quite challenging and may take you quite a while to figure out, so the game could last a while in that regard. And then you have the other modes to play with as well and the accessible multiplayer. The only things missing are online play and the ability to make puzzles and share them online, but this game is good enough it does not require those perks. Overall, if you are a fan of games that make you think, then Prism: Light The Way would be an excellent addition to your collection.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.9
Written by Martin Review Guide