We've been carrying around touchscreen devices in our pockets for years now, but there still aren't a lot of games that really get the tactile pleasure of manipulating virtual objects with your fingertips. Prism, out now on iOS, is a game that's entirely about that feeling. It's essentially a collection of puzzle boxes, 3D geometric objects that you twist and turn in order to get at their high-tech innards. It's a simple premise, but with a sense of style that makes it feel epic and futuristic.
If you've played The Room, a spooky series of mobile games about unlocking cryptic puzzles, Prism will feel a bit familiar. Both games are about looking at objects and trying to find their secrets. But Prism is a lot more abstract. Instead of ornate puzzle boxes, you're presented with dark objects, that you rotate in three dimensions. Along the surface of the objects you'll find buttons and switches, things that you can tap and push and pull in various ways to make things happen. The game doesn't tell you what to do, it just presents you with the object, but figuring out how things work is usually pretty easy. Naturally, the puzzles get more complex as you progress, and the goal for each one is to open up the object to find its bright, shiny center (which in turn unlocks more puzzles to solve).
The combination of atmospheric music and gorgeous sci-fi visuals is what really makes the experience, though. Instead of just solving abstract puzzles, it feels like you're playing with some kind of alien technology, learning how it works as you progress. Just the act of twisting and turning a strange 3D shape with your fingers feels good; it's like Optimus Prime just handed you the Matrix of Leadership and you need to make it work. You can check out the game on iOS right now.