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Prism: Light the Way (DS) artwork

Prism: Light the Way (DS) review

"If you have ever taken any physics course, then at some point in time, you may have glossed over the behaviour of light. One point that stays clear is that on a flat, reflective surface, the angle that the light bounces off of is the same angle that it first struck the surface at. "

If you have ever taken any physics course, then at some point in time, you may have glossed over the behaviour of light. One point that stays clear is that on a flat, reflective surface, the angle that the light bounces off of is the same angle that it first struck the surface at.

Fortunately, the developers over at Eidos Interactive canned the physics for their light-based game, Prism: Light the Way. Instead of trying to explain the theories of such scientists as Young and Michelson, you are given a grid with a maximum size of ten by ten squares. Your purpose is to light up “Globos”, organisms that require light to survive and thrive. Because these Globos are static in their position on a grid, you have to manipulate the positions of other organisms called Bulboids that give off light by moving their position on the grid, all to the master purpose of lighting up the Globos.

However, there are many problems for the Globos. First off, the Bulboids can only point in one direction, and cannot be rotated around, meaning a Bulboid pointed up cannot supply light to a Globos in the down direction. To further complicate things, certain Globos can only be satisfied by specific colours of light – red, blue, and green – while Bulboids only give off white light.

This is where the genius of Prism: Light the Way’s design comes in. In each puzzle, you are given several objects that can manipulate light, and you have to move and rotate each and every one of them (in only a few puzzles do you have leftover pieces) to light up every Globos. Mirrors will reflect light waves at a ninety degree angle, while T-Junctions will split the light into two and send them out the two sides that are ninety degrees opposed to the way the light came in (so if the light comes from up, it is split go to left and right). Light that goes through a coloured Filter Block will turn into the colour of that block. Prism blocks take in white light and split it into blue, yellow, and red light, each exiting through one of the three remaining directions. Cycloids also change white light into coloured light, but will constantly flicker between red, yellow and blue.


Unfortunately, there are a few flaws to the game, if not in its design and concept itself. For one, it is fairly light on the main content; the game only has 120 puzzles, and the first 20 or so are easy filler puzzles that require only one or two modifications to the preexisting grid. A Help button exists for the first 40 puzzles that will point out a correct step you can make, but is gone after that, leaving hapless gamers stranded on the rare snag they may encounter. Five other modes exist in addition to the main game, but they are all just challenge modes (time mode, infinite mode, and so on) that recycle the main game’s 120 puzzles. There is a multiplayer mode in which two players can compete on one card to see who can solve the same puzzle first, which is decent. Secondly, while I was not expecting the graphics to be very advanced (which they are not), the use of only one soundtrack while doing the puzzles was aggravating; I just stuck to listening to my own music as opposed to the game’s.

While it is not a big or a revolutionary game, Prism: Light the Way is still a decent game. It sticks to its design well, and as a result of its simplicity, does not have any conceptual flaws, while still managing to involve some brain-wracking at times to finish a grid. It can also be had for $17 new at the time of writing, so as an acquisition it is definitely worth it.


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Community review by darkstarripclaw (May 10, 2008)

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