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Old Principles, New Paths

PrizmPath - Revision by huntermusicandtv is the remade version of a mouse-controlled puzzle game created in the Unity engine. It consists of and expands on one of the most common video game puzzle types in existence: An area filled with objects (in this case, so-called Prizms) that can be set to one of two colours, with the goal of getting all of them to display the same colour. Interacting with one of the objects will not only cause its colour to change, but that of all adjacent objects as well. In order to solve a level, the player will therefore have to properly combine and plan his moves - especially since there's only a limited number of turns available per level. So far, so simple...

This is still easy.

The Good (Positive qualities that justify an increase of score):
- PrizmPath manages to fill this old, not very original premise with some new life. Over the course of the game, multiple different types of Prizms are introduced, which all operate in a unique way. Some of them will only change the colour of diagonally adjacent Prizms, others do this only for horizontally and vertically adjacent ones, later ones can do both or even have a range of influence larger than just their direct surroundings. As these different Prizms start to appear together in the same levels, the real challenge of PrizmPath becomes visible: Combining their different mechanics to solve the increasingly complex and difficult puzzles. As you continue playing through the levels, the game actually turns out to be quite fun, showing that its concept still has more potential than perhaps expected.
- The game features all-original art by Ville Seppanen. Backgrounds, menu graphics and gameplay-relevant objects all share the same effective sci-fi-like, geometrical style. The fact that the Prizms are also animated is a nice touch, too. While not absolutely stunning, the art supports the game very well and is a vast improvement compared to the predecessor. All of the music has been created by the developer specifically for this game as well.
- There are some nifty details to PrizmPath that make the game a little extra special. Whenever you click on a Prizm it will not immediately change colours, but first indicate which Prizms will be affected by it. Only after clicking it for a second time, the change will actually take place. This is an incredibly helpful feature that make planning ahead a lot less frustrating. Also, the game allows the player to "break" certain levels. This means that if you need fewer turns to solve the puzzle than you are allowed to take, you've proven to have found a better solution than the "canon" one. The level choice menu, from which you can (re)play any level at any time, will also visually indicate which levels you managed to break. It also makes you feel pretty darn smart.

And I totally killed this one.

The Bad (Minor issues and nuisances that usually only decrease the score if they come in large numbers):
- In the current version, some minor graphical issues are present. Some of the Prizms have an animation cycle that is so fast it becomes jarring and annoying for the eye. Also, especially some images in the main menu are placed in unfortunate ways, making text hard to read. (The creator already made clear he intends to change this, though.)
- Since this point is very much a matter of personal taste, I did not let it influence the score, but I wanted to at least mention it: I found the original music in PrizmPath to be rather distracing and unpleasant. Except for one track, all of it sounds rather dissonant and experimental, and while this fits the atmosphere, I found it a poor choice for a game which requires so much concentration.

This one, however... Help!

The Ugly (Major problems or very frustrating aspects that lead to a decrease of score):
- In a puzzle game, an above average level of challenge is to be somewhat expected, especially in the case of a mechanic so widely used. Despite this, PrizmPath definitely has some severe pacing and difficulty issues. The good news is that every new type of Prizm is introduced with its own super-easy level, which lets the player directly experience what it can do, thereby eliminating the need for anything like a tutorial. Unfortunately, the bad news is that immediately after that, the game jumps back to its usual difficulty and makes the player face hard challenges without giving him any opportunity to properly get used to the new Prizm's workings. This can very quickly lead to players hitting a wall.
In addition, the game's difficulty curve and "balancing" are often off. There are a good amount of early levels which already allow the player to take a great number of turns (usually a sign of more complex levels), but then it turns out they can easily be solved with much fewer turns (earning you some rather cheap "broken" levels). Quickly, though, the difficulty will go through the roof and leave most players perplexed with its combinations of many different Prizms. As a matter of fact, I don't consider myself too bad at puzzle games, and even created one myself in which I used a variant of this game's concept for one puzzle. But still I was unable to finish all the levels of PrizmPath, since I got stuck as early as level 15. A smoother difficulty curve that increases the challenge slowlier would definitely be a large improvement, as in its current state the game quickly becomes way too frustrating.

Let's be clear here: PrizmPath is not a revolutionary or highly original game by any means. You solve a set of puzzles of a well-known type with some twists, and that's pretty much all there is to it. But PrizmPath does do a good job at presenting its concept in a fresh way and is an enjoyable challenge if you like this kind of gameplay. Don't expect anything out of the ordinary, but expect generally solid, clever puzzle design and a nice workout for your grey matter. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, go give this game a try.


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Thank you for writing this up. It is very well written in my opinion, and does a great job of analyzing PrizmPath (which you had already done before, but now this is just in a more formal review form haha). PrizmPath definitely has some issues that I will be having to rehash for the next update to hopefully boost up the score and playability, but I don't think a review of its current version could get more accurate than this one.
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