It looks like someone at Wizard of the Coast finally noticed that we are all playing Magic The Gathering Arena. They have now decided to drop the open beta disclaimer from the game now, so it can be viewed as a final product. What we are left with is the result of running the grandfather of the modern card game through the digitiser.
Here is a trailer that tries to pretend the game is not a card again and the actual launch trailer that hides it a little less:
For those that missed the 90s, Magic The Gathering is a game about pretending to be wizards throwing cards at each other. Think 52 Card Pick Up, but where you shout “fireball” or “angry cat” as you fling cards across the room. Following health and safety complaints by parents and many pointy card corners ending up in players’ eyes, Wizard of the Coast transferred the system to the digital world.
It has been a success, by most accounts. Besides lacking some of the alternative styles of play, most rules are intact and the game has a sizeable card pool, unlike previous versions of the game.
Worth bearing in mind that Magic is the original game with surprise box mechanics. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem too bad to play as a free game, with a reasonably generous number of pre-made decks and smattering of packs dropped for you (at least, when I was playing a few months there were). I was going to put some money in when some new sets were introduced, but actually found I had enough in-game currency to just pick up a bunch without any real money.
The game itself can be fun times, for anyone that likes card games. Anyone that enjoys playing with crazy combos and fiddling with decks to get to them to work will find plenty to like here, with the options available to you causing the likes of Hearthstone to hang their heads in shame. Nothing has left me giggling with glee quite so much as pulling off a blue milling deck, reducing my opponent to no cards in his draw pile. It only worked about 1 in 15 games, but it was worth it every time. For those that just want to play the game without trying to put decks together will get some fun from the surprisingly strong pre-made decks available too.
Magic The Gathering Arena is available now from https://magic.wizards.com/en/mtgarena. The game is available free to play.