Sawbuck Gamer

Prism Panic

Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another?

The precise demands of Prism Panic test your skill as well as your patience.

By Jason Reich • March 28, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

If self-flagellation’s your thing, video games are a great hobby. Prism Panic takes a cue from games like Spelunky and Super Meat Boy in its ability to deal out unrelenting abuse at a rapid pace. Some kind of evil force has invaded your little alien character’s world, leaving ugly dark splotches all over everything and transforming normally benign creatures into killing machines. Saving the world means running, jumping, and dashing from left to right, ideally with atomic clock-like precision and the superhuman finger agility of a concert pianist.

Like other games of its ilk, your enjoyment of Prism Panic is likely to be inversely proportional to how much you hate frequent, repetitive deaths. At times, it’s hard to distinguish the enemies from the background art, and there are a few too many blind plunges off cliffs into the spike pits that lie below. Miss the landing by a pixel, and it’s back to the beginning. Prism Panic offers some enjoyable quick thrills even if frustration sets in fast. At the very least, it’ll distract you from contemplating the spooky psychological implications of players’ seemingly insatiable desire to be punished.

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5 Responses to “Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another?”

  1. Biclops says:

    Wait, you guys are reviewing indie games now?

  2. Chalkdust says:

    I got up to Forest 12, at which point I couldn’t figure out how to get past the split vertical shaft with evil death tentacles on both sides.

    Elsewhere in this genre, I made it a few worlds into Super Meat Boy before hitting a wall, and I also started They Bleed Pixels today, so I apparently have a bit of a masochistic streak in me–but not much.  Oh yeah, Dustforce too… I guess I’m secretly hoping I have some untapped super-gamer potential that playing these things will unlock.

    These brutal platformers require a high level of polish, responsiveness and clarity to work.  When you fail, the feeling should be, “I know how to succeed but I didn’t execute properly” and not “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do”.  Alas, with where I am, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

    Also, I bemoan the lack of controller support.  Kinda hard to do that with a browser game, I’d wager, but gamepads make these things way more enjoyable.

    • RCIX says:

      Dash also kills enemies. A neat trick is to stand next to a wall, and alternate pressing up and dash, as this will cause you to rocket up it.

  3. Eco1970 says:

    “unrelenting abuse at a rapid pace” – nope, not even going to bother with this one lol.