Oct 5, 2007
Along comes Prism: Light the Way, a quite brilliant little puzzler that takes us waaaay back to the halcyon puzzling days where there was nary a tumbling tetrimino in sight. Waaaay back to 1987, in fact, where we can find Prism's roots in a Spectrum title called Deflektor (sic).
Deflektor was a simple yet furiously addictive beastie that had you deflecting (or is that deflekting?) a ray of light around a grid using a number of mirrors, in order that it might form a complete circuit. Prism takes this simple gameplay mechanic and expands upon it, but it's far more than a shallow clone of a 20-year old title. Your task is to simultaneously illuminate the lightbulbs that litter the perimeter of the playing area. This you accomplish by shining a beam from one of the light sources directly into them. You can move the source around freely, and there are a number of slanty mirrors and multi-way, multi-coloured tubes to assist you on your way.
Easy peasy, yes? Yes, until you realize that each of the bulbs requires a certain colour to shine upon it, and that none of the elements on the grid can be rotated, leading to inevitable frustration-fuelled self-disembowelment as you send your rays of light around on a wild goose chase through a number of colour filters.
Sound complicated? Well, perhaps it is, but the learning curve is so gentle that you'll quickly learn how everything works. Perhaps Prism would have been tighter if just one of the variables (the location of the light source perhaps) were fixed, as it can sometimes feel too chaotic, but - hey! - if it were easy, it would hardly be a puzzler, wouldn't it?
Fiendishly hard and rewarding in equal measure, this deserves a home in any puzzle-fan's library. And the fact that you can get it cheaply if you shop around means it's a bargain in anyone's book.