Jul 25, 2011
Most games that let the player shoot laser beams involve fast paced action, but Refraction is a little different. Refraction challenges players to use prisms and mirrors to send different colored laser beams to goals of the same color. Lasers mixed with puzzles? What’s not to love?
Well, the twitchy controls are kind of hard to love. Directing a laser beam being bounced off of a mirror, or split using a prism can be more challenging than it should be. It can be extremely difficult to get the beam to stay where you want it, and it’s very easy to tap the wrong prism or mirror when two objects are right next to each other, but those issues seldom interfere with the sheer enjoyment of solving a tricky puzzle.
Refraction offers some of the most enjoyable puzzle gameplay we’re run into on the Android platform. Mirrors reflect laser beams, and prisms split them into two beams. When you fire a purple, orange, or green laser into a prism, it will be split into the two primary colors that it’s made of. Getting the right color light to the right exit while working around all the obstacles becomes increasingly more difficult with each new level. The challenge ramps up at a good pace, and you’ll really have to stretch your brain to figure out how to solve some of the more difficult puzzles.
Refraction doesn’t do anything to impress with its presentation, but it manages to get the job done. The beams of light don’t offer any distinguishing qualities other than color, so color blind gamers might have trouble telling the red beam from the orange, and the blue from the purple. The prisms and mirrors are represented by simple icons, and the goal is just a colored circle. This game isn’t about good looks and fancy sound, it’s strictly about the puzzles.
If you can get past the twitchy controls, and the lackluster presentation, Refraction offers some really smart gameplay sure to please anyone looking for a challenging and enjoyable puzzle game.