Steam Game Review: Prelogate (2014)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Thursday, March 5, 2015 0 comments

"Prelogate" is a puzzle game for the PC that has you trying to lead different colored laser beams to machines that are located on certain spots of each level.  The way you get the lasers to the places they need to be is by placing items.  Some of these items for example are: Mirrors to deflect the laser signal, a splitter to split the signal, a mixer if you want to combine two colors to make a new one, plus there is many more that will be unlocked the deeper you get into the game.  There is a story to this game as well although a very simple one that can be summed up in a few words.  The story in this game has you playing as some person trying to go though a test to see if they are smart enough to beat the puzzles...  How strangely meta.  A very simple puzzle game but will it be the next big thing?  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

Yeah the story in this game is very thin but props for giving a puzzle game that doesn't typically need a story and give it a story as it made for a nice touch.  Gameplay mechanics in this game are super simple (as you could tell from the opening paragraph) and that's a great thing as simple is best for this kinds of game.  Now a puzzle game where you guide something to a destination isn't the most original idea in the world but this game manages to do it in a way where it feels very fresh and original. 

Gameplay in this game is fun and addicting and can really get your brain going and especially further into the game and so you'll need to get a little creative.  The main game has ten chapters and sixty-four levels in total and so there is a decent amount of solving to be done here.  All the puzzles in this game were well designed and each level felt unique.  One thing I enjoyed about the puzzles is that they throw in different obstacles in each chapter as it made the game feel fresh each time.  Once you have beaten a puzzle in the main mode you can replay them by selecting "Levels" from the main menu.  The downside to replaying the levels is that the item placement doesn't reset and you'll have all your mirrors, splitters, and all that jazz still on the field from when you played the level during the main mode.

A good chunk of the puzzles aren't simple "connect point A to point B" puzzles as a lot of the levels have multiple parts to them.  You will have to solve several puzzles at once and so you got to make sure that none of your item placement interferes with any of the lasers from the other puzzles and it turns the many puzzles into one big giant puzzle.  On those levels you can freely switch between parts by hitting arrow buttons that appear on the bottom right corner.  Solving these levels were fun and got my brain working like crazy but some of them are also rage inducing and make me shut off the game a few times.  This game does have some replay value as you will want to challenge yourself to see if you can beat each level while trying to use the bare minimum use of items for a better score.  Not to mention for those who are into achievements as you will get achievements for beating certain levels in a certain way and it's nice to see if you can do that (rare that I mention achievements in reviews as they aren't typically worth talking about).

This is also a game where you won't have any enemies or a time limit to put a stop to your construction and so you can go about each puzzle at your own pace.  The difficulty in this game is as you'd expect as it starts off easy and becomes very frustratingly hard but very satisfying to beat.  If you were to play this game in one sitting it'll take you around a day to beat but this is a game you play for an hour during your break or in-between other games you are playing.  This game does have a level creator and it was surprisingly a bit tricky to find as the text color the link is written in blends in with the text that tells you which version of the game you have.  This mode isn't bad and it is as you'd expect it to be and adds in more playability.

There are two ways to view each puzzle in the game as there is a 3D camera you can move around and see the puzzle on every single angle, there's also a 2D camera that shows the puzzle from a bird-eye view.  The 2D camera isn't bad but is quite limited in how you can move around with the camera as you can only rotate the puzzle in a 360-degree angle, slide the puzzle around, and zoom in and out, but the 2D camera is great for when you want to make more precise placements on the field.  The downside to the 2D camera is that it removes the fun out of seeing all of the items and lasers in all angles and directions and takes away the satisfying moment of seeing the puzzle come to life, that's fixable though as you just switch to the 3D camera right as you are about to start up the machine.

The 3D camera gives you a better detailed view of the puzzle as you have all the same features as the 2D camera but you also have more features that the 2D camera doesn't have and it gives you a much more free view of the puzzle.  The downside to the 3D camera is that it's harder to make more precise placements of the items and also controlling the camera can be a bit finicky to use and will cause some frustration with the player.  The huge upside with the 3D camera is that it makes the puzzle look very fun and goes along with the fun gameplay.  Switching between the 3D and 2D camera is a breeze as there is a button on the top right corner that switches the views on the fly with no problems.

The intermission menus that you will in-between each stage in the main game are interesting on their own as not only does it piece together the thin story but you can control those menu with the keyboard by itself via text commands.  Sure it was a very novel idea that you'll barely use but it was also a charming idea that added some character to this game.  The text command section also hides some secrets so don't be afraid to type in classic video game passwords.

Graphics in this game are very simple and not very detailed but this isn't the kind of game that you'll be playing for the graphics anyway.  The graphics also have a Portal-esk ("Portal (2007)" look to where everything looks clean due to the use of white and black shades, this helps make the colors stick out more and so you won't have any trouble seeing the lasers.  The machines you use to guide the lasers are alright but it can be confusing trying to tell some of them apart from looking at them in while using the 2D camera.  Level designs (not to be confused with "Puzzle Designs") were nice and basic and despite using the same styled white blocks as most of the levels don't look the same as each other and you won't be confused thinking "have I played this stage already?" (Yes I know the promotional screenshots doesn't make it seem to be the case but eh... Such is life).  Music in this game uses an ambient sound that works well with the game as it makes the puzzles calming which is good as you will get frustrated with some of the levels (like I mentioned before).

Overall this is a very solid puzzle game and I got into it a lot more than what I thought I would.  This is a game I do recommend getting but as I said before this plays best on a break or as a breather in-between two action packed games.  Nice puzzler.

Game: Prelogate
System: PC
Developer/Publisher: blamedrop
Genre: Puzzle
Price: $3.99 (Steam)
Recommended: Yes


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