Puzzle Prism review

Puzzle Prism review

Apr 11, 2011

Developer: PONOS
Price: PRICE US$4.11
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

When I first saw the screenshots of Puzzle Prism, I didn’t think I was going to like it. Not because I thought it looked bad, but because I’ve played 3D variations on Tetris before, and I usually wound up walking away unimpressed. Yet, after playing Puzzle Prism for a few rounds, I didn’t hate it at all; I just kept right on playing because I was hooked.

Puzzle Prism is a typical block dropping game where the goal is to play for the highest score by filling in as many levels as possible. It’s a simple formula that’s been exploited by generations of video games, but still a lot of fun. You have 4 modes to choose from, which you unlock as you play the game. You start at the Standard mode and advance after you hit a certain score.

In Standard mode, you’re playing an endless game featuring a tower that is steadily rising. You have to drop irregularly shaped blocks into the gaps to fill a “level,” causing that level to clear and awarding you with points. As you clear each level, the remaining bits of blocks drop down and either fill in other gaps to create a chain reaction or just lie there, waiting for you to drop another block. The game only ends after the tower reaches the top line.

In Time Attack mode, the same rules apply, however, you have 2 minutes to get as high a score as possible without the tower reaching the top. Dead Line is like Time Attack mode, except that as you drop blocks, the tower rises much more quickly. You have to fill in the spaces about as fast as you can just to keep up. It’s easily the hardest mode, in my opinion, as it comes right at you and almost never lets up.

Finally, you have Extra mode, which is the most unusual of the group. In Extra mode, the tower is a blue block that is steadily dwindling down to nothing. The object is to be as efficient as possible, filling in the level directly on top of the tower. If you slip up and misplace a block, you’ll have to clear it before you can start adding layers again. The game ends when the tower completely disappears. In addition to these 4 modes, you have 88 trophies to unlock and a global leaderboard to compete with, giving you plenty of reasons to keep coming back and playing the game.

The only complaint I have about the game is that the swiping controls were very touchy, sometimes registering a side swipe as a down swipe and immediately dropping a block where I didn’t want it. However, this is easily solved by switching to pad controls in the Options menu. Meanwhile, the psychedelic colors and flashy visuals might not be for everyone, but once you get hooked, you don’t even notice them.

Regardless of these minor problems, I just keep on playing because I really enjoy the core mechanic.

Puzzle Prism review Rundown

Graphics/Sound - The visuals are a bit on the psychedelic side and aren't exactly the prettiest I've seen, but the blocks are clearly defined and easy to place. The music has a techno feel to it and makes you want to go as fast as possible.
Controls - You have a number of options on to configure the controls. You can either use buttons on the touchscreen or swipe to rotate/drop blocks. The swiping isn't always accurate, though. Sometimes, the game registers a side swipe as a down swipe and drops your block when you when you didn't want to.
Gameplay - Gameplay is dead simple. If you've ever played a dropping blocks game before, this will be instantly recognizable.
Replay Value - Very addictive, I find it hard to put down after just one or two "warm up" rounds. In addition to its addictive qualities, Puzzle Prism offers 4 modes of play, 88 "trophies" and a global leader board give you plenty of reasons to come back.
Overall - Not a bad puzzle game, despite my initial thoughts that I would find it confusing, or too difficult to enjoy. Instead, I was immediately hooked and had a really good time.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Demo version is also available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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