You have the right to prove that you’re worthy of returning to society, if you’re able to solve puzzles inside the prison. So, gather your wits and earn your freedom!
Genre: Puzzle, fps, casual
Release date: March 9th, 2017
Prison of future
At first, I was a bit skeptical about the high hardware requirements, since I played the game on high settings at 1920×1080 on fullscreen. I even tried epic settings and didn’t see much difference as my fps that was close to 60fps all the time, and the game didn’t look that special. When I switched on the SSR/reflections, everything changed. Pretty much every surface in the game has reflections. My fps dropped to 30+ and graphics really came to life. It looked so good that I didn’t mind playing my game in 30fps at all. Don’t be alarmed at the high requirements if you want to play this game, just leave the reflections out and even the weaker cards should be fine on achieving 30fps on lower settings. There are a good amount of options to adjust in order to make the gameplay smoother.
For the background music, we have a soothing ambient track. I played this game a few times after a rough day and felt relaxed by the overall scenery combined with the music. Add that to the smooth and responsive controls, and it’s a nice casual game to play late in the evening after a busy day. The difficulty of the puzzles varies greatly. There were a couple of occasions where I had to refer to the guide at Steam, but the majority of the puzzles I would rank on the easy/medium scale. They’re still different from each other, and I didn’t encounter two puzzles that seemed to be alike. The game has about 60 puzzles, spread across 40 different rooms. You’re also able to replay any level you’ve managed to beat, straight from the main menu.
Test of wits
There are five different puzzles: The lasers, blocks that stick to certain walls, pressure plates, balls and two different colored force fields that either block your way or let you pass. Whenever a new mechanic is introduced, there are tutorial puzzles that begin with a really simple puzzle and increase in difficulty before returning to the “proper” puzzles. I found these a bit strange since they felt too simplified at times and they were their own puzzle. Instead of introducing a new mechanic among a proper puzzle, we have for example a tutorial level that consists of moving blocks from point A to point B, and that’s a whole puzzle, one level completed. These things always leave a bad taste to my mouth, sure it is one puzzle among the ~60 promised ones, but it’s less than 30 seconds, and don’t even require thinking.
The best part of the puzzling is without a doubt the lasers that are guided by mirrors into different directions, aiming for the right colored goal. These are the ones that really make you re-think more than the other challenges we face. We start with a mirror that projects the beam to a single direction, as we progress we get more mirrors; one that splits the beam into two, 45-degree angles, and one that beams out to three different directions. Some of these laser-based puzzles are devilishly clever, and they do trick you into thinking you got it until you’re placing the last few mirrors and see that you really didn’t get it. We start with the basic three colors, – red, green and blue -, but eventually we have to combine them to create more colors. This brings about interesting twists since sometimes you have to combine one route, and save the original color of the beam to another route.
Next up are the pressure plates that were also fun, right behind the lasers. In the later levels, they have a more complicated layout, and we can only touch them once, otherwise, the whole puzzle has to be started again. Plates are situated in multiple stories, we have to jump and plan where to go and in what order. You can choose where to start, there are no restrictions and you can do them in any order you wish. I spend quite a lot of time on these ones, just sprinting and testing out different possible routes just for the fun of it. It’s also easy to “cheat” on these ones; I made a few risky jumps here and there over plates and succeeded. I liked the freedom of choosing my own route more than if it would have been completely fixed how to do them.
Those are the two main and most featured puzzles, It’s also a good thing since they are the most fun of all the challenges. Blocks that stick to the wall didn’t pose much of a challenge except that it was sometimes a bit of a hassle putting boxes in their places due to the camera angle, but nothing game-breaking. Balls that roll through ducts weren’t featured much. Force fields mainly tested our reflexes. The middle mouse button changes the color of the room from red to blue, that also determines which force field stops you or lets you through. Usually, it’s changed while we were flying across the room through both of them, or rapidly changing them to guide the rolling balls past the finish line.
Should you buy it?
I have mixed feelings on this one and had to think about the rating for a while. I did have fun at times, but then again, there were quite a few puzzles that felt too easy. I encountered nothing that really stuck out in my mind. The game looks stunning and plays without any bugs, but that alone isn’t such a factor while considering the big picture of the game as a whole. I enjoyed my time with this one, but something is missing and I just don’t know what. This game left me feeling like I wanted more out of it.