As a team, build and then escape a maze of hazards, but each player is wearing their own colored glasses, so that everyone is looking at the same board but seeing different information.
Duration: 5 minutes to learn, 10 minutes to play a demo game, 15 minutes to play a full game
Player count: 3-5
Prism Break is a real-time cooperative Cyberpunk-themed hacking game where each player is only seeing limited information. The goal is to create a maze out of tiles that allows a viable path that visits all four corners of the board before a ten-minute timer expires. However, each tile may have walls, traps, or other special effects (some beneficial, some dangerous). Players must place the tiles carefully so as not to trap themselves and leave no way out.
The three-player team wears red, green, and blue glasses, respectively (these can fit loosely over normal glasses for players who wear them). Each player can only see game information that is of their color, so all three players are looking at the same board and same tiles but seeing different things. They can share information freely to piece together the effects of each tile, but the clock is ticking!
If present, a fourth player wears no glasses and can see everything. Their job is to traverse the maze being built by their partners in real time… but their communication with the rest of their team is restricted, so they must sometimes deal with the terrible decisions their teammates are making. A fifth player can be added to represent active opposition, the head of security who places additional obstacles in an attempt to foil the team.
Because of the nature of the color filters used in this game, it can be played by people with colorblindness or color deficiency.
About the designer
Ian Schreiber has been making games professionally since the year 2000, first as a gameplay programmer and then as a game designer. He has worked on several published video games, co-authored two books on game design, and co-founded Global Game Jam, the largest in-person game creation event in the world. He currently teaches game design at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
About the designer
Jonathan Palmer is a game designer working on tabletop roleplaying games, exploring player agency, motivation, and alternatives to typical storytelling constructs. His full time job is at Microsoft on speech and mixed reality, but that doesn’t thwart his tinkering.