Magic the Gathering is a long-running turn-based strategy collectible card game, where you play the role of a wizard tapping mana from lands in order to cast spells, summon minions and generally make the lives of your fellow wizards short and miserable.
PRICE: $9.99 (ABOUT R83)
AGE RESTRICTION: ALL AGES
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 is a fairly good translation of Magic the Gathering to PC.
When I say it is good, I mean I ended up fairly sleepy at work the week I was playing it. It is surprisingly gripping.
There isn’t much animation beyond simply playing the cards and the odd very simplistic sequence showing off an opponent.
When your hydra attacks an enemy you don’t get to actually see a hydra attacking the enemy – you get three red lines, a sound effect and a number showing how much damage you did. Despite the very basic aesthetics and graphics, the game serves as a very good introduction to its non-digital counterpart, except that you can’t create your own deck.
You get a limited ability to tinker with the decks that it shipped with, or possibly download decks.
What this means is if you want to play, for example, a red and green deck, you are out of luck until the developers come up with DLC for it.
The vanilla campaign mode is good, and each opponent plays differently, but there are just not enough of them.
The “encounter” game types, intended to teach you more difficult challenges, could have done with being more numerous.
Planechase, an alternative campaign for a single player, adds a greater luck component to the game. It plays like a four-player free-for-all, with a deck of “planes” that tells you where the match is happening and sets up special conditions you have to cope with. It is made up of four matches.
Finally, you have the “revenge” trail, which is like the vanilla campaign with tougher opponents and no encounters, and challenge mode. All of this is still a bit short.
All of that said, it is a very playable game that costs less than R90. If you are interested in the card game, this will serve as an excellent introduction to it before you shell out money on the actual cards.
A very beginner-friendly introduction to Magic the Gathering, at a very reasonable price.
It is also very bare bones. It feels like playing the tutorial to a much bigger game.
– This review appeared on the Times Live website on 27 July 2012