PLAYER TWO REVIEW: "Magic 2014"

Magic 2014

DEVELOPED BY: Stainless Games

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

RELEASE DATE: June 26 2013

 PLATFORM: PC  

In the realm of Collectible card games, for the last 20 years the name "Magic: The Gathering" , has pretty much dominated the field, but never quite managed to get a foothold in the digital realm. Until the release of "Duels of the Planeswalkers" back in 2009. Suddenly, the game a game that was prohibitively expensive to play for the masses, was available for a mere 10 dollars.  Granted, it was not as full-featured as the actual card game, but it was accessible. Now people who couldn't play before, could actually learn to play, in a quick and easy format. The fact that this is the 3rd sequel should say a lot about the success of these games. 

The newest iteration, of this series offers a lot of the same, with a few new innovations that help to try and keep things a little on the fresh side. While still not the full-featured deck construction game that rabid fans have been clamoring for, it does attempt to offer a small deck construction mode in the "Sealed Campaign" A brief campaign that also forces people into micro-transactions if they want to create extra decks.

The campaign mode feels almost like a joke. On the most part, all you have to do is play against an opponent's deck once or twice, and learn the order that they will put down cards. There are some exceptions to this concept, but most of the "encounters" lack the dynamic play aspect of the previous entries in the series. The caveat there is, that once you get comfortable learning the strategies, they toss an opponent like the "Simic Clones" deck at you to really screw with you. Honestly, that was the ONLY deck that gave me some trouble, until some massive mana ramping and a fortuitous "All is Dust" saved me from certain defeat.

This game once again feels like a sort of week single player mode, that is meant strictly as a distraction when you can't find an opponent for the online multi-player. However, I can't complain too much, for 10 bucks, I got more for my money than many games I have spent 60 bucks for. And for the novice magic-player, this game will really help teach you the mechanics prior to grabbing a physical deck and having the regulars at the local card shop kick your ass in person.

 RECOMENDATION: If you are interested in Magic, and haven't got the small fortune necessary to break into the game, then this is the game for you. For 10 bucks, you get to try a variety of different deck styles, without the fretting about whether a certain card will make your deck stronger. For the novice, the limitations this game provides are actually strengths. For the seasoned player... stick to the physical game, there is very little her for someone who enjoys customizing their decks, and spends their time watching the spoilers of the next set, so they can plan their next deck accordingly.

 FINAL THOUGHTS:  The base game is a little, underwhelming, but still enough to scratch that little MtG itch I get every once in a while. And again, for 10 bucks, it was money well spent. If you come in not expecting great things, you will likely walk away with no complaints!

  P2 Ranking: 7.5 out of 10.

(I will admit, the game scores slightly higher for prominently featuring my favorite although motly useless Plansewalker, Chandra.)