Magic 2014: Back on the Deck

I am pretty sure that lots of you still remember those times when computers used to be no better than calculators and instead of spending hours and days in front of PCs, people enjoyed going either outdoors or stayed at home with their friends and played board or card games. Well, nowadays only a few do this kind of stuff and others enjoy getting involved in the technological progress and separate themselves from the society. Well, if you are still a dedicated card gamer but the word “technology” is not alien for you, there might be a decent compromise that comes under the title Magic 2014 aka Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014.

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Magic the Gathering is one of the oldest card games in the world with its own style and nature of play. Thanks to the famous Wizards of the Coast, we’ve got an amazing opportunity to enjoy playing this game on our computers and mobile gadgets. Luckily, Wizards of the Coast support their product pretty seriously and every year they release a renewed version of the Magic with new sets of cards, magic tricks and things like that. Luckily, they do not attempt to change the rules, so when got acquainted once – you won’t have to do that all the time.

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By all means, if you feel like playing something “physical,” you can always buy a set of collection cards but if you are a dedicated player – that might cost you a fortune. On the other hand, if you do not mind having those on your Android or iOS devices, the set of cards will cost you a few dollars if not less. In the new Magic the Gathering 2014 you will be offered to play with the renewed but still basic set of 249 unique cards. Some of them look slightly different, others won’t let you recognize them even if you really try to. Also, a few things came back from the previous game versions and other vanished like they’ve never been here. But in general the card set looks refreshing, stylish and, as always – impressive!

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The good news is that this time Magic 2014 is available for all the possible platforms including PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation, iOS and Android. The best part of this innovation is that great interest has been dedicated to create a decent touch-screen version. Now the AI thinks faster, fights back faster and his strategy is logical. Also, the game itself has been optimized and is missing freezes, bugs and all that kind of stuff. On the top of that game’s interface is now simpler but better and works a lot smoother. In other words – Magic the Gathering 2014 is really magical.

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The main single player campaign consists of 20 impressive duels. The whole scenario now comes with the video scenes and texts that give you a general picture about everything that is going to happen or why this or that opponent has made a decision to become your enemy. Magic won’t be Magic without an amazing opportunity to open new cards and new sets of cards during the game sessions. After you finish the first Main Campaign, you will be able to go through another one called “Revenge.” This Magic campaign is based on the duels with the owners of strong cards, probably – even stronger than you have. That is why the “Revenge” is definitely going to be a real challenge. You can also test your skills in other game modes like Challenge. They look simpler and better than in 2011 and 2012 and are definitely worth trying. And the last but not the least – Two headed Giant, where you can play with 1, 2 or 3 opponents or create a 2 on 2 challenge.

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Probably, the most exciting thing in Magic 2014 is the addition of the Sealed Play. In other words – it is a simplified version of the Booster Draft, where you receive a set of a few boosters and by opening them your task is to collect a small deck of cards (40, to be exact). Unlike Preconstructed decks, Booster Draft is a lot more unpredictable and you never know how it’s going to be at the end. Of course: some gamers enjoy this kind of game, others prefer to play something else. But never the less – it is very and very good.

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Unfortunately, Sealed Play consists of 6 duels only and in order to feel the game you will have to play it through for a few times at least. Though, Magic 2014 has an incredibly flexible card deck editor that can make you feel like a King. Another bad news is that you won’t be able to use any boosters in the multiplayer and the card deck you managed to collect in the Single player will be the very same deck of cards offered for you to hit the top 10 in multiplayer. But if you think that your card deck is far from perfect, you can always finish the campaign one more time and get a totally different set of cards. For the next playthroughs you will be forced to buy new slots for $1,99 each but fighting with real enemies gives you an opportunity to get a lot better cards. As for the iOS version of the Magic 2014, there are only two game modes: one on one with Preconstructed decks and one on one in the Sealed Play.

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Thanks to the Booster Draft and decent card editor Magic 2014 makes one step closer to the title “Ideal.” Unfortunately, for the series in general it’s nothing more but a so-so tryout to make things better. Lots of fans have been dying to see things like Rochester Draft and, of course, a real massacre with 8 or even 16 players. But, things are not likely to be so and we can only dream about making it to the top level. Well, at least with this speed of innovations we will get what we want somewhere in 2025.

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But after all Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 is a decent card game with a decent rollplay action and all the attempts to make something alike look just ridiculous when compared with the Magic 2014. You can already enjoy this game by downloading it from Steam for your PC or Mac or, if you happen to have an iPad, get it from the App Store. Also, an Android version of Magic the Gathering is available at Google Play and Amazon App Store. Though, you will have to spend some extra if you want to have all the cards opened at the very beginning (this will cost you $0,99) and for another $0,99 you will be able to turn the whole deck in a set of collection cards. The basic version of Magic 2014 has 10 card decks but if you get the DLC – do not forget to add another 5 or 6.

Author: Oleg Repetskiy

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