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Prisma & the Masquerade Menace (Demo)
Prisma & the Masquerade Menace (Demo) Prisma & the Masquerade Menace (Demo) Prisma & the Masquerade Menace (Demo) Prisma & the Masquerade Menace (Demo)
This is Prisma & the Masquerade Menace. It's an upcoming 2D platformer from Shiny Bolt Games that has you cycling through several different powers to break obstacles and make things in the world disappear and reappear. It's currently seeking funding through Kickstarter, and I recently played the first five stages. I know you have a lot of questions about Prisma, so let's crib this.

Is Prisma the name of the hero? Actually, no, it's not. The character you're looking at right now is Ray, a young girl with a penchant for exploration. It's on one of these journeys that she comes across a mischievous girl named Fractal, who wants Ray to help find and destroy the magical masks. Apparently Fractal can't do it on her own, so it's up to Ray to race through the world and put her exploration skills to the test.

The cool thing about Fractal is that she gives Ray a bunch of skills that are designed to make traversing the world a lot easier. She first offers up the blue power, which gives our hero the ability to jump real high. Next, it's a yellow power that lets her run real fast. And finally, after she's managed to complete the first two stages, she is given a red power that makes it easy to bust through crates and boxes that are standing in the way. You can cycle through them at any time by simply hitting the face buttons on the controller. In fact, you may notice that the colors line up perfectly with the buttons on an Xbox One controller. But don't worry, I had no problem playing it with the DualShock 4.

What are you supposed to do with these powers? Obviously, some of these powers are self-explanatory. You'll occasionally need the jump boost to reach certain platforms, while the red power will let you destroy objects that stand in your way. But things get tricky when you are forced to quickly jump between the powers, combining them to make it to the next checkpoint without falling into a spike pit. This is where the real challenge comes in, and trust me when I say that Prisma & the Masquerade Menace is not an easy game. Getting that timing down isn't as easy as it looks. Switching from one color to the next means that certain platforms will disappear, so it's all about keeping track of your powers and making sure you get the combinations right.

The good news is that it's easy to tell which power you have selected. Beyond showing it in the upper right corner, the entire world will change colors based on what you have selected. You'll see it in the sky, which is actually a really cool effect. In the levels I played, a lot of it comes down to barreling forward and having to change at a split-second's notice. When you get it right, it's kind of magical. But usually that's after a few times of getting it very, very wrong.

Is this yet another platformer only coming to PC? Wrong again! While Prisma & the Masquerade Menace has already been greenlit on Steam, Shiny Bolt wants to bring the game to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PS Vita. That's where you come in. In order for this game to get a proper console launch, it's going to need to burst through a bunch of Kickstarter stretch goals. Prisma is currently seeking $20,000 by March 16, which seems more than doable given that they're only a few thousand away. But in order to get it to consoles, they'll need quite a bit more. In fact, they'll need to reach $80,000 to bring it to consoles. I don't know if they'll be able to do that, but dammit, I want to see this on PS Vita.

Conclusion: The demo I played may have been tough, but it was also a lot of fun. I've played a lot of 2D platformers that have you changing shapes, but none of them felt like this. When things get going and the speed picks up, there's a real energy to Prisma that was different from most platformers. Of course, what I played only scratched the surface of what's possible. I'm eager to see what the bosses are like and how the story plays out. I like the character and world they've created, so I hope Prisma & the Masquerade Menace finds enough money to make it to PC ... and beyond.
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