Prismata (PC) Preview

By Athanasios 04.03.2018

Review for Prismata on PC

The history of Prismata starts back in 2010, with the basic idea behind it being the creation of a title that combines elements of real-time and turn-based strategy games, with a dash of deck-building magic as a cherry on top. However, while it is supposed to be a hybrid that breaks the mould, and breathes new life to the genre, the reality is that it's not as groundbreaking as it claims to be. Is that a problem? Not really, as the gameplay on offer, whether innovative or not, is enough to justify keeping an eye on it.

Moments after booting Prismata up, the mobile game feel of it will be quite strong. From the good-looking but, otherwise, lifeless art style, and the forced plotline, to the UI and the very casual-friendly gameplay mechanics, this feels as if it would never be a part of the library of a "serious" strategy fan. Moreover, while its marketing will make you feel as if this reinvents the wheel, it really doesn't, as its mechanics are turn-based strategy 101; gather resources, build, defend, attack, and so on. Fortunately, while it does feel like "all those mobile games," and although it's not something new, it's actually an insanely fun title, despite its simplicity - or exactly because of it.

Screenshot for Prismata on PC

The concept? One-versus-one matches, with cards acting as units; units that are divided between those that produce resources, and those that attack or defend, with lots of them being hybrids that let you do more than just that. Each round has you managing your units or buying new ones, and then hitting the enemy using your attack "pool." After that, it's the turn of the opposition, who does pretty much the same, with the only difference being that you are now on the defensive, and have to carefully think how to protect your army.

Defending is one of the many ways Prismata proves to be such a great game despite its easy-to-grasp mechanics, as it's not just about building lots of walls. Instead, you have to think what units to use, as, depending on the attacker's power, some units will withstand the blow, while others will get wiped out, therefore, it's imperative to do a little bit of both, and try to sacrifice a few cheap ones in order to distribute the damage, and let the better and more expensive blockers live to fight another day.

Screenshot for Prismata on PC

One thing that should definitely be noted is that luck has nothing to do with the outcome of a battle. Like chess, this is pretty brutal, not just because of its pretty good AI, but mainly because of its, for a lack of a better description, math-centric approach to the strategy genre. You can't just create 'plenty' of X units, or just a 'bunch' of the Y ones - you have to calculate the exact number that is required to give you an advantage, as every single decision, small or not, can have some great ramifications on what happens next.

Another example about this title's lack of… mercy, is how resources are handled. In most strategy games, the one that amasses the biggest amount of "dough" is usually the one who waves the winner's banner - not here, however. Apart from the fact that, once again, one has to carefully use every single piece of available resource, besides gold, these disappear at the end of a round, thus you can't just create 100 resource builders, then just sit back and relax. Oh, and by the way, the pool of units is limited, too, so, once again, there's no way to create the grand army of your dreams.

Screenshot for Prismata on PC

Besides all this talk about the strategy bit, purely as an experience, this just feels good to play, with a control scheme that is very mouse and touch screen-friendly, and a speed that even RTS titles could learn a thing or two from. Plus, this is an almost flawless piece of software. Even in its current, incomplete state, it's extremely fine-tuned and balanced. When it comes to the latter, especially, there wasn't a single moment during the course of playing this that felt like a defeat came unfairly.

The only "flaw" is that, despite its look, Prismata is not a game for those who just want something casual and relaxing. This is basically a title that demands eSports-like commitment. In other words, be prepared for plenty of defeats, but also for lots of joy when you get that coveted 'Victory' sign - unless you focus on the campaign mode, which is just a big and long tutorial. Oh, and as for the various things that can be bought with actual money, they are all extra decorative items, with many of them (if not all) possible to acquire by playing… and winning.

Screenshot for Prismata on PC

Final Thoughts

Keep more than just an eye on Prismata. Its look will discourage those who will mistake this for a run-of-the-mill, casual-friendly strategy title for the pay-to-win, smartphone-carrying demographic. However, in reality, it's an extremely brutal, deep, and - more importantly - fun to play experience through and through.


Lunarch Studios


Lunarch Studios





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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