Previews

Prisma & the Masquerade Menace Preview

Prisma and the Masquerade Menace is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer developed by Shiny Bolt Games. It stars an explorer named Ray who must search for magical masks with the help of dimensional powers given to her by a girl named Fractal. The demo I played didn’t include any story content, but it did provide a solid look at the dimension-based gameplay mechanics.

Ray can switch from the starting dimension into three other dimensions, each of which is mapped to a specific key or button. In the blue dimension, she can jump much higher than usual. In the yellow dimension, she can run faster, allowing you to cross wide gaps or speed across crumbling platforms. Finally, in the red dimension, she can break through certain obstacles. In addition to indicating your active dimension in the upper corner of the screen, it also gives you a visual cue by changing the environment’s color.

Early on, the game presents you with minor challenges to ease you into the gameplay, but as you progress, you’ll encounter more complex obstacles that require you to use your powers together. For example, if an obstacle blocks the edge of a high platform, you’ll need to jump in the blue dimension and quickly switch to the red dimension to break through.

Another twist comes into play with platforms that only exist in certain dimensions. In addition to switching dimension to use your powers, you’ll need to make sure you’re in the right dimension to have a solid platform beneath your feet.

This leads to fast-paced, heart-pounding situations where you hurtle from platform to platform, switching between dimensions on a moment’s notice as each new obstacle presents itself. Add in a few enemies bombarding you from a distance, and you need to time your jumps well to survive. Fortunately, frequent checkpoints mean that when you die—and you will die often—you can keep trying the same section until you get the timing down.

While it can be challenging and hectic, swapping dimensions based on what you see ahead soon becomes second-nature. I did have some trouble with the normal dimension, which has no power of its own and no specific button, but in general I adapted quickly to Prisma’s unique mechanics.

The demo I played included the first five stages of the game, as well as a boss battle. The boss battle wasn’t as intuitive as the platforming sections, although its context in the full game might make it clearer. After some trial and error, I learned how to dodge the enemy’s attacks and then damage it in the red dimension. It didn’t feel as unique as the main stages, and as a result, it felt less satisfying. However, the boss battle was only one small part of what otherwise is shaping up to be a great game.

Prisma and the Masquerade Menace uses other dimensions to add a challenging twist to the side-scrolling platformer formula, and it will be exciting to see how the full game turns out.

Prisma & the Masquerade Menace Preview
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