While you’d think it had been comprehensively proven by the likes of Block 3D 2 that forcing Tetris into three dimensions doesn’t really work, developers just can’t seem to give up on the idea.
Admittedly, Puzzle Prism plays with a little more grace and style than most (with plenty of flashy combo explosions for the easily amused, like me), but it still feels like forcing a square peg into round hole, and it never feels as natural as its classic inspiration.
Viewing the action from a semi-isometric viewpoint at the top of a wire-frame tower, your goal is to manoeuvre falling shapes to fill-up two-by-two squares and clear the row. The tower also constantly rotates to give you a clearer view of each level, though this proves more dizzying than helpful if you’re playing for long periods.
In true Tetris style, the shapes - ranging from single squares to thick oblong boxes and right-angled corners - only occasionally fall in nice tidy patterns for you to slot together.
You have to fit them where they’ll create the fewest gaps and hope something will eventually turn-up to finish of the square before you hit the top (and the dreaded Game Over screen).
In principle this shouldn't be too difficult, as the pace in Standard mode is relatively languid until you start running out of space, but the default flick controls can be annoyingly unreliable when you need them most.
You move shapes around the grid by swiping either to the left or right, while an upward flick flips them - giving you more options with bigger, more awkward objects. The only problem is that quick upward flicks are often misinterpreted as being downward ones, which immediately drops the shape down the tower and normally into the wrong spot.
This is a particular issue when the tower is growing too fast and you’re starting to panic. Switching to one of two icon-based alternative control schemes will give you greater accuracy at the cost of tactile thrills.
Once you’ve found a control system that suits you, it’s time to start working your way through the four different modes available.
You start with the highscore-chasing Standard, and the remaining trio need to be unlocked by meeting certain score-focused challenges.
Earning 50,000 points to play Time Attack is easy enough, but by the time you’re trying to survive for a minute in the infuriating Deadline mode to unlock final Extra mode (where you keep a pre-built tower from sinking into the ground by topping it up with shapes) things have taken a turn for the tricky.
For our money, though, Standard and Time Attack invoke the warmest Tetris nostalgia trips and are the ones you’re most likely to plug more than a handful of goes into.
While there are in-game achievements earned for higher scores, all of which can be admired in scintillating text format in the Records section, the real draw is being able to compare your Puzzle Prism prowess with others' on the online leaderboards.
This helps to stave off the general ennui that comes from playing yet another Tetris derivative unnecessarily forced into 3D.Puzzle Prism's graphical bells and whistles gloss over the awkward transition, but we doubt you’ll ever be as hooked on this as you were on the classic 2D version of Tetris.