So a while back I found out about this game, called Prismata, and I’ve got to say it’s the best game I’ve ever played. That’s not an exaggeration. Not even a little bit. The game is simply amazing.

Prismata is like a mix of the best parts of Chess (deterministic strategy with perfect information), Starcraft (a sci-fi theme where you start with a few workers and collect resources, invest in your choice of technologies, and construct an army to destroy your opponent), and Dominion (to make every game different, each game contains a few randomly selected units from a large pool in addition to the 11-unit base set.) I’ll give you an overview of the rules.

Each player starts with a few drones (six for player 1, seven for player 2) and two engineers. Drones produce gold, which is required to construct pretty much everything, and engineers produce energy, which is required only for drones and a small handful of other units. Generally you’ll want to spend your first turn or two building more drones to increase your economy. Then you’ll pick a branch of technology to be your first one, either red, blue, or green, and purchase the corresponding tech building (animus, blastforge, or conduit, respectively). Those technologies allow you to purchase attackers and defenders.

Combat is very simple: at the end of your turn, your attack power is pooled and compared to the enemy’s total defenses. If they can absorb all of your attack, they get to choose the order in which their defenders take damage (so they would want to lose their smaller defenders first and arrange so that their biggest defender takes as much damage as it can but does not die, because most units regenerate fully after combat). If they don’t have enough defense to absorb all of your attack, you breach them, killing all of their defenders and assigning any remaining damage to their non-blocking units – only now you get to choose how it’s distributed. Usually the first person to be breached loses (because it means the enemy can slaughter your most vulnerable attackers), but not necessarily.

So yeah. It’s an incredibly fun game that never gets old and that you should check out. There’s a free demo here and you can get an alpha key without paying by asking for one on the reddit key request thread. I’m called Yujiri in-game 🙂