Reviewed by Helen Wyatt
We were recently chosen to test out a board game called Prisma Arena from Hub Games, described as a fast paced game of over-the-top arena combat. This is a game for 2-4 players, aged 10+, and the box says it will take 30-60 minutes to play. It is designed to reimagine arena combat for a new generation of gamers and their families. Our first impressions were that the game came contained in a good quality box, with striking illustrations on it depicting three cartoon characters in bold, bright colours, racing down a rainbow road, with the backdrop of a somewhat dystopian landscape, and the name of the game clearly emblazoned across the front. The back of the box has an overview of the game with a picture of it in play, along with an explanation of being able to customise your hero i.e., your playing piece.
Inside the box there are lots of pieces! It is very well made and contains a comprehensive training manual, a fold out playing board, and boards with pop out pieces that you’ll use in the game such as obstacles, action dials and hit tokens. There are several cards such as ones for your character, ones for the “Mo’kon”, which are creatures that you fight alongside during the games. You’ll even find a “locker” to put all the stickers in that you can use to customise each playing character, and durable envelopes to store all the small items.
The story behind the game is that you are heroes in training as Guardians, who must protect Hope in the Time of Despair. You have to prove your skill in Prismakata in order to do so, which is the ancient art of channelling Prisma, or your inner light. The Mo’kon are physical expressions of your characters emotions, and fight alongside you, helping you to level up and attain the rank of Guardian.
The training manual lays out how to set up the board for beginners, and then takes you through basic training once you have each chosen and customised your hero. You can name them, and the stickers allow you to make your hero look exactly how you want. The training manual is detailed, but takes you through basic training after the setup, talking you through the aim of the game (to take turns moving, striking and blasting your opponents, and to try and be the first to gain the relevant number of points for the game and win), how to activate and move, how to grapple, strike and blast, how to perform combos and so on. Once you have completed basic training then you move onto advanced training which goes into more detail about character’s abilities, and how to level up. After this you should be ready to play a proper game. There is even a video on the Hub Games website, showing you how to play the game in just 20 minutes!
My kids were very excited to be able to name and customise their characters, and then we slowly went through the basic training. It is quite a complex game, so you do need to take your time to understand each element in the basic training before moving on. It looks like it will be a really fun game to play once we’ve really mastered the basics, as you keep your character abilities and levels between games, building on them as you learn the intricacies of how to gain and use powers, and watch your character grow and evolve. Despite the complexity of the game, the training manual is clearly laid out, so it does take you step by step through both the training and the game itself. If your kids like strategy board games and they need occupying, this is a fun way to get them to engage while we continue to be stuck at home a lot of the time. We were most excited to see that the game was deliberately designed to promote inclusivity and gender-neutral standards, so that everyone can see themselves in the game through the customisable characters.
This product can be purchased from Hub Games here.