Nothing is as evergreen as Magic: The Gathering. Even if your first brush with the grandfather of all trading card games was years ago in your friend’s basement, you can still jump right in again and get up to speed quickly. You’ll have missed a wealth of new cards and expansions, but the core ideas remain the same. Magic 2014 is a fantastic entry in the long-running video game adaptation series of the game, and it even comes with a meaty demo to hook in new players.
Perennial Magic players will find the core interface has stayed largely the same, with few tweaks or changes– but why change anything when the original worked so well? There’s an attractive UI to greet you upon getting settled, and if you downloaded the app with the intention of playing through the demo only, there’s a hefty 25% of the game to dabble in before plunking down the $10 fee.
Like last time, there’s an excellent mode for players to enjoy if they’re flying solo. For the uninitiated, campaign mode serves up opponents with their own specialized decks. You’ll need to employ some advanced strategies if you want to conquer them all, but repetition is key.
There’s a sizable learning element to being defeated, as each opponent strikes with the same patterns and card machinations each time. This allows you to take a step back from agonizing victories, regroup, and come back with a new way to combat them. It’s a useful teaching tool in this way, going beyond the confines of normal play to ensure Magic enthusiasts are learning while they’re enjoying themselves– an idea I can definitely get behind. Luckily, you can get a feel for the opponents since their cards are always the same. Yours won’t be, ensuring the campaign retains some element of surprise for future plays.
There’s a wealth of content even beyond campaign play hidden behind the $10 entry fee, and while it’s a pricey investment, there truly is enough to justify it, especially for Magic: The Gathering die-hards. For starters, there are 10 new decks culled from the latest expansion, representing varied play styles: control decks, opponent control decks, you name it. Each one packs 30 unlockable rare cards as well, allowing some wiggle room for you to impart your own favorite cards and new deck outlines.
Speaking of surprise cards, one of the biggest reasons to plunk down your hard-earned cash for Magic 2014 is the banner feature of choosing to play with a sealed deck. If you’re familiar with real-world tournament play, this should tickle your fancy in a big way. You’re given sealed booster packs of random cards, with which you’re then asked to create a new deck on the spot. There’s a staggering amount of luck required here. You never know what you’re going to get, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s fun simply racking up the cards you need to create a killer deck. This also gives newbies and intermediate players a more equal playing ground.
Extensive rules, interactive explanations, and a variety of lessons are available via the comprehensive training mode, so there’s plenty of opportunity for even neophytes to get in on the action. No matter how simple the deck, you can learn helpful strategies and options for coming out on top.
A massive selection of cards, robust multiplayer, and a wealth of options are only a few of the reasons you’ll be able to cite as justifications for the $10 pay wall. Magic 2014 is an excellent choice for newcomers and veterans alike, especially if the TCG scene strikes your fancy.