If there is one genre that Nintendo has paved the way for in this current generation of handhelds and consoles, it’s puzzle games. With the unprecedented control schemes of both the DS and the Wii, Nintendo has succeeded in providing the perfect platforms for puzzling perfection. And though the Wii hasn’t seen many puzzlers to date, the genre thrives on the DS. From Meteos to Picross DS, puzzling has hit a new level of functionality on Nintendo’s household handheld.
One of the latest puzzle games to hit the DS last holiday season is Prism: Light the Way. In this game, players must manipulate light using various light bending components (including mirrors, splitters, filters, and prisms) in order to reach the desired destinations. This unique take on puzzling provides yet another solid title from Secret Stash Games, and another strong puzzler on the DS.
As with any puzzle game, Prism: Light the Way doesn’t waste its time in trying to create a detailed story. All puzzle gamers such as myself want from a puzzle game is addicting gameplay (and maybe some polish here or there). So, if you’re expecting an epic tale of creatures fighting to save the universe’s supply of light, you’re looking for the wrong type of game. But if you’re looking for a solid puzzle game that could keep you playing for a substantial amount of time, Prism is right up your alley.
Shedding Light on Gameplay
As with many well polished puzzlers, Prism: Light the Way features several different modes of play, four single player modes and a few multiplayer to be exact. Single player modes include puzzle, time, hyper, and infinite. Each is a different take on the overall gameplay design providing a varied experience throughout your gameplay. Though puzzle is probably the most appealing and the deepest mode of the 4, the other 3 give the game some variation.
Puzzle mode is just as you would imagine it. Players must move several different components around an area in order to bend light to its desired destinations. Mirrors bend light at a 90 degree angle while splitters turn one beam into two (in a T shape). Light must also be directed through filters in order to change the color and through prisms to project multiple colors. The goal is to have light of a certain color reach a glowbo of the same color. Once all of the glowbos receive their desired light at the same time, the mission is completed.
Levels in puzzle mode are divided by tier. Each tier has 8 different levels and 6 out of the 8 levels must be finished before moving on to the next tier. Time is unlimited and as the levels get more difficult, you may be spending much more time than you would expect. As one would expect, the difficult does ramp up in the later levels and with up to 120 different levels to finish, you have a lot of puzzling on your hands.
Time mode is basically the exact same as puzzle mode except that you are timed throughout your session and the set of levels you play is random each time. The clock begins at 30 seconds and counts down until you run out of time. However, you can increase your time by finishing levels quickly (the levels at the beginning are very easy to complete but they get progressively harder as you play). There are checkpoints at each interval of 10 levels and once you reach one, you can begin at that checkpoint any time you fail (with the initial time you had when you reached the checkpoint). You are also rewarded medals for the amount of time you rack up at each checkpoint though they really serve no purpose other than making you feel like a light warrior.