I am a huge nerd. That is pretty much apparent due to the fact that I write a blog about video games, and I have almost no understanding of sports that involve balls. As such I used to love Magic: The Gathering in it’s card game form. Correction: I loved collecting the cards and making the deck, but I didn’t really know anyone who would play with me, so it was a rare treat that I actually got to play it.
In the last few years we’ve seen a few Magic the Gathering PC and console games. Some of them were fun, but not really Magic: The Gathering, while others stayed very true to the core of the game. Those generally stayed TOO true, forcing you to buy booster packs of random, digital cards. This usually turned me off of the game pretty quick. Sure, I could find a few people to play with, but it handled poorly, it was always outdated, and it was expensive.
I picked up the new Magic: The Gathering game demo on Steam yesterday. I haven’t bought the official game yet (waiting for payday) but I’ve played the demo for four or five hours so far.
Apparently you pick a famous (for Magic) deck instead of building it, and you can then do Campaign mode, Co-Op Campaign Mode (Including from the same computer!) and Online games. The animation is slick and fluid (you can turn off the effects if you want to) and it really handles like a dream.
Best of all you don’t buy boosters. They have one expansion out on Steam and you can buy it for $4.99, but it just gets you “up to date” with the physical game, and adds some new decks and effects. It is perfectly viable not to get it though and just keep playing with the base game.
This is THE BEST iteration of Magic: The Gathering I have ever played, aside from the actual physical game. Sure, you don’t collect cards and use strategy to build a deck (so far anyway) but you get some great decks to play with and for how cheap it is, you really can’t go wrong.
Once payday hits I’ll be switching between Transformers: War for Cybertron and playing Magic with my wife in Co-Op Campaign Mode. I suggest at least trying the demo, even if you don’t know what Magic: The Gathering is.