I’m not usually much of a one for puzzle games, as I seem to lack the part of the brain required that looks at things objectively and calmly.
Prizma Puzzle Prime is a new entry into the not noticeably understocked puzzle game genre, coming from developers and publishers SilenGames. But this game is apparently a collection of older titles that were playable on the web, released from 2009 to 2011, now with new features thrown into the mix. Is it worth the investment of your time?
Being a puzzle game, the story found in Prizma Puzzle Prime is not at all important, and the developers haven’t bothered with any attempt at a narrative. There is a set of levels and you have to complete them. That’s it.
Presentation wise and the action, if you can call it that, is viewed from an isometric viewpoint; above and off to one side of the level. Apparently, this is an old school view, according to the blurb from the developers, and while I have been playing games in this viewpoint since the early days on the ZX Spectrum, old school does seem a bit of a misnomer.
Still, we have what we have, and the levels are mode up of nodes that you seem to have to connect with beams of some description. The levels are clearly laid out, and so it is easy to see what is happening. While there is nothing here to make your Xbox sweat, it all works very well. Having the ‘Optimized for Series X|S’ label attached is absolutely laughable, however.
The music is worthy of a mention though, as the tunes that you listen to while solving the puzzles are quite nice, catchy and fit in with the action. Other than this, Prizma Puzzle Prime is a pretty quiet game, and while the presentation is perfectly adequate for what it is, the overall impression is one of simplicity; that is not a bad thing.
So, what about the actual puzzling action then, what do we have to do? Well, at its heart is a simple game, as the best puzzlers often are. We are given a grid of nodes, and we have to start at one end and make our way to the other by linking the nodes together. You can only go over a node once – if you come across a path that you have already taken, you are forced to backtrack and find a new way through. The levels start off very simple and quickly get more complicated, as you would expect.
Now, this all sounds very easy, yeah? Well, it isn’t quite that. First of all, we have limited moves available to fill the grid in, and so planning your route becomes very important. Luckily, as you look at the levels, you will see that some nodes have numbers on, and these add the relevant number of moves to your total. There are also nodes with stars on, and for the best result, you want to collect all three of them from each level. It is possible to finish a level without all the stars, but why would you?
As the levels go up, the layouts get a lot more complicated, as special nodes are introduced. These include switches that can remove obstacles from the path, through cannons that shoot your energy beam across gaps, all the way up to teleporters that send you to any of a number of predetermined points on the level. In this way, with a bit of planning, it is always possible to make your way across the level.
A fairly easy game to get to grips with, there are obviously some issues with Prizma Puzzle Prime – but not if you are an achievement hunter, that’s for sure. Without any word of a lie, within nine minutes of starting the game, I had got all the achievements. All 1000 Gamerscore was nabbed in exchange for nine minutes of my time. Of course, the problem with games that give everything up so early is that there is a real lack of incentive to keep on playing, which in this case is a real shame. There are a lot of levels to go at, with a very challenging learning curve, and so to hamstring their own game like this makes no sense.
All in all, Prizma Puzzle Prime does a lot of things right. The levels are nicely judged, getting incrementally harder, and the way the mechanics work is good fun as well. As it is though, with a nine minute 100% completion time if you’re only worried about achievements, I’m afraid a lot of people will use this as a cheap way to pad their Gamerscore totals and not play it to conclusion. That is a shame.
Prizma Puzzle Prime is on the Xbox Store