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Prismata


#1

To anyone who hasn’t heard of it, Prismata is a game worth playing. Do not be fooled by its looks (which are better than they first appear). The rules and mechanics are easy to learn but as deep as it gets, though admittedly the learning curve is known to be steep when you jump from playing bots to humans. But it should be a match for a lot of members on a site like this where table top and video games meet. I remember the SU&SD boys liked Duelyst a lot. I did too, but Prismata is like Duelyst after a hundred thousand years of evolution and steroids.

Developed over the past decade by a small group of mathematics/computer science PhD candidates at MIT, at least two of whom dropped out of the PhD program to develop the game, Prismata is a turn-based strategy game that is card-driven and has perfect information but no deckbuilding or RNG. It’s original name among the developers was MCDS, for Magic, Chess, Dominion, and Starcraft, which is a pretty accurate title.

Each player starts with an equal board then builds economy and an army with a mix of attack units and defensive units. Player unit selection is based on a base set of units common to every game you play combined with a set of 5-10 additional units randomly selected from a pool of about 200. The battles are gripping and difficult and closer to combat than any board game or video game I’ve played.

Has anyone else here played it?


#2

Nope, but it sounds interesting. I nearly stopped reading at “RTS”, but then you contradicted that with “turn-based”. I will check it out.

EDIT: Looks like it used to be free with a $25 solo campaign, and is now $25 with the solo campaign included. That’s a little high for something that looks a bit rickety. Perhaps the design is good enough to warrant it, but my computer gaming is mostly asynchronous or solo these days.


#3

After it gets out of early access it will be free to play multiplayer and to battle bots, while you will still have to purchase the campaign. And it is not rickety at all, it is extremely polished. I’d recommend this article by the man who wrote the AI:

Also, you’re right, I shouldn’t have called it an RTS. It is a turn-based strategy games that borrows heavily from the mechanics of RTS games.


#4

I read the link. It looks a bit like Dominion without a deck - look at the offer, try to assess the best build then tweak it as you go to react to your opponent’s choices. I imagine Codex is the closest comparison, but I haven’t played it as I wasn’t convinced by the Codex pitch either. I’m just not ($25 worth of) sure that this is a type of game that I would be interested in.


#5

Likewise! Maybe one day :slight_smile:


#6

Benkyo: That’s fair. Good of you to respond.

I will add that if anyone wants to play it but not at the cost of $25, if you ask the founder Elyot for a key on r/prismata, he may give you one for free, which he does often. And as I said above, multiplayer without campaign will be f2p upon full release.


#7

Any, er… conflict of interest to declare? You seem quite keen on only talking about this one thing in every thread going.

I mean, prismata might be fun, but is it as wholesome and feeling as KIR ham, the succulent meat that satisfies a growing family? - available at all good grocery stores. Terms & conditions apply. No purchase necessary.


#8

No, KIR. No conflict of interest. I’ve mentioned Prismata in two threads, my only posts, because I thought people on this site would like the game.


#9

Back in March, a friend introduced me to Prismata. It was and still is her favorite video game. Prismata is a lot less luck-dependent than Hearthstone; once the cards are selected, it’s an perfect-information game. From what she tells me, a lot of the top players are veterans of games like Hearthstone, Magic, Netrunner, etc. but are drawn by the higher skill cap since it’s not about whether you can find the right tools in your deck to deal with your opponent’s cards but who can setup their economy, pick units, and make tactical decisions to gain the upper hand over their opponent.

I picked up Prismata when it was on sale and played through part of the campaign before life took over.