Prisma Arena - Hub Games - $39.99
The Harbinger Despair is trying to snuff out all light, and it’s up to a group of recruits to train up and become Guardians worthy of wielding the Seed of Hope. Customize your Avatar and enter the Prisma Arena with your trusty Moh’Kon beside you and do battle with your fellow trainees. As you get stronger, you’ll grow and earn new powers until you finally become a Guardian.
- Customizable, inclusive cast of characters
- Quick and simple gameplay
- Character leveling
- Plays a bit too long with more than 2 players
- Only one set of cards for each character, which get permanently marked
Full Prisma Arena Review
The Harbinger Despair is trying to snuff out all light, and it’s up to a group of recruits to train up and become Guardians worthy of wielding the Seed of Hope. Customize your Avatar and enter the Prisma Arena with your trusty Moh’Kon beside you and do battle with your fellow trainees. As you get stronger, you’ll grow and earn new powers until you finally become a Guardian. Your Avatar becomes yours, personalized to your own play style and aesthetics and saved in an individual bag. You even get your own locker to save your armor and fashion accessories!
Right off the bat, Prisma Arena is different than most board games. Each player takes one of the characters from the box, writes the character’s name and their own name on the Character Card, and customized the standee with removable vinyl stickers to customize their look. There are also four different sets of armor stickers that are unlocked as their character levels up. It should be noted that once a player claims a character, it’s theirs. You permanently write on the Character Cards, Locker, and Character Bag. There are a few Guest Cards, but these are only good for one-off games.
Once the characters are set, each player chooses two Moh’Kon, creatures bases on emotion, to assist them in the arena. The players then each take turns to activate their characters and battling it out until one player reaches a certain number of points. The three action options taken by a character are movement, a ranged attack, and a melee attack. There are also Combo Cards that can be played or chained together using matching symbols on them. This allows players to plan elaborate turns to deal with damage and keep their own character out of harm’s way.
Whenever a character is defeated or Bounced, they’re removed from the board and re-enter during their next activation turn. Points are earned by scoring hits on other characters that are accumulated when they’re Bounced. Once a game ends, experience points are added up, and characters can level up, earning new armor and Prisma Powers to customize how they play. The more games played with a character, the more powerful they become. Once they’ve maxed out, that’s it. There’s no real way to reset them and, as of right now, no “refill” packs available for purchase.
Overall, Prisma Arena is a delightful family game that allows you to create a hero how you want to create it in a colorful, inclusive setting. The simple rules make it easy to set up and play quickly, teaching you as you go with several “Lessons” that ease you into the game. Once you’re comfortable, you can move on to advanced play by leveling up, assigning powers, and saving your character’s progress with the included character bags. The activation and combo system allows for interesting play that forces players to put real thought into their actions and utilize their turns for maximum effect.
A copy of Prisma Arena was provided free for review by Hub Games
Media personality Rob “Devar-TTY” Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of Devar-TTY’s Pawns Perspective, Dev now focuses mostly on video games and TTRPGs. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.