Prominence, a sci-fi adventure developed by Bay Shore game maker Digital Media Workshop, follows a different orbit than other games of the genre such as the recent Star Wars: Battlefront. Eschewing blasts, bangs and battles, Prominence invites players to use their minds — via the point and click of the mouse — to solve a series of puzzles while navigating an abandoned spaceship. The result is challenging and mentally stimulating.
Players would be wise to read the prologue, which sets up the game’s back story of a space mission gone awry. As the game opens, you awaken in an empty room of the ship, where it’s apparent by various paraphernalia strewn on the floor that crew members evacuated in a hurry. The first puzzle has you attempting to escape by placing your mouse over selected objects that serve as clues to unlocking a puzzle. If an “eye” icon appears on the cursor, it’s an alert to investigate an object. Likewise, a “hand” symbol means you can perform an action, and an “arrow” tells you to move in a specific direction. Sounds simple, but as you wander about and encounter jammed doors and security codes, you may start to feel like you’ve entered the Roach Motel. Persistence and patience will be key to finding a way out.
Once you’re able to move farther along, ANNIE, the ship’s AI computer, will be your guide to help you uncover more information about the crew members and scientists that had been onboard and to try to piece together what happened to them.
Prominence will strike a nostalgic chord with players who have a fondness for point-and-click games. The atmosphere, graphics and space-age music, however, give the game a 21st century sheen that takes sci-fi to another dimension.