When I first loaded up Prismata, I was bracing myself for disappointment. The concept of playing a free to play early access card game was not exactly filling me full of joy. Especially as I’d seen a couple of screenshots, and had already thought the art style looked a bit outdated and tacky. Nevertheless, I steeled myself to slog through a few hours of it, gathering an arsenal of complaints to cynically knit together into what I’ve started inaccurately calling a ‘review’.
Another feature of the game is that there is no deck building. Both players draw from the same pool of cards, and starting setups are predetermined and balanced. This removes any feeling of bad luck from the game and makes you feel like you are always on a level playing field with your opponent.
When you put these things together, Prismata starts to feel less and less like a traditional CCG, and more like a turn-based strategy game, or even a game of chess. All of the elements that can make a CCG frustrating have been peeled away. No overpowered cards that only collectors with good luck or lots of money can hoard. No OP decks that tryhards can Google and start effortlessly winning from their first game. No pay-to-win via ‘elite’ booster packs or high-end purchasable cards.
What you’re left with is a very solid, very enjoyable hybrid strategy game, which rewards careful planning and efficient play Prismata is a game that is initially fairly easy to pick up and start playing. But with time, the depth of strategy afforded by the system never stops revealing itself. Every single game I played, I uncovered a new tactic or strategy that improved my next game. Since it’s free to play, it would be pretty tough for me to not recommend it to anyone who likes strategy gaming. So I’ll do that. Hey, anyone who likes strategy gaming, try Prismata. You’re welcome.
Of course, nothing stops me from being completely destroyed by some guy who has 5000 hours in the game over the last three years, but at least I have a social life. So screw him. No, I really do. I said hello to the guy behind the counter in Caffè Nero last Tuesday. Or was it two Tuesdays ago?
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