I saw that the new Magic The Gathering game came out today, and I couldn’t resist the urge to check it out. To this day, I have a fairly significant collection of Magic cards. My friends and I would regularly play games in the basement for hours on end. Seeing Planeswalker 2013 hit the Steam store brought on a nostalgic feeling, that is hard to say no to.
In fact – I even got the free iPad version and played a bit on breaks at work today. The game feels great on a tablet touchscreen by the way. Despite downloading a gig onto the iPad , I spent most of my time in the full Steam version. I was able to get in about 4 hours of play at the end of the work day. Which is why this write up is by no means a review, its just a few of my initial thoughts after getting a feel for the game.
It’s Magic the Gathering, a classic strategy card game that is time-tested and proven to deliver compelling and exciting game play. If you have some history with Magic, you will probably like the game and I would say right away, it’s worth the $9.99.
The uber-hardcore MTG scene may frown upon the presentation or some of the choices the developers chose to take while adapting the game for PC, but honestly – I think its pretty good.
The game has amazing artwork at every turn, the load screens, the cards, the backgrounds. Its hard not to love the artwork that surrounds the Magic universe.
There are a ton of tool tips that will help assist players new to the game. There are also 3 levels of difficulty. I selected the hardest mode and was absolutely challenged by the AI. I also had some pretty bad luck during my first few games… Ahh! I hate not getting any good cards or being dealt a mana shortage. But alas, this is the nature of Magic the Gathering.
I’m not sure how often this happens, but the game tosses you cards IRL…thanks I really needed more cards to put in that box in my room. I’m sure a lot of players will love the cards – I just don’t feel like I will use them very often. Update: I think it might just be 1 booster pack for getting the game
Magic the Gathering DOTP 2013 also gives players the ability to manage their cards in a ‘Deckbuilder’. There are a number of pre-made decks and It appears that you unlock more cards for the deck and can make modifications to the the sets. Its DOES NOT appear that the game offers the ability to build decks from scratch like the original MTG online did. I get the feeling this is just not how they want the DOTP series to run, its about knowing a set of decks and how to user them and counter them. This makes the nature of the game a bit different than a custom deck IRL tournament (I did play in one of these once, I lost in the first round).
I’m going to sum up the bad items quickly. So far I only really have 2 issues with the game.
1. No truely custom decks (as mentioned above)
2. The user experience is kind of bad on a PC: I felt like the game controls were designed for tablets more than PC’s. There were a bunch of times where the way the game worked, or how it was controlled felt odd. One of a few examples i found was that you had to actually scroll through the menu to get to the ‘exit game’ dialog. It should have presented me something by hitting ESC in my opinion. This complaint is petty minor I suppose, as its pretty easy to adapt to the interface.
Is it worth it?
Remember, I only played 4 hours – there is still a lot more I need to see. I plan on doing a full review after getting in some more time.
For what its worth, I fell pretty good about saying it’s worth the 10 bucks.
Anyone else plan on playing this? Lets duel!