Magic 2013 iPad Review
- Touch-based controls add a visceral depth to playing MTG.
- Revised decks add a new twist to favorites; Jace is no longer the be-all-end-all!
- Equally unlock decks through progression or IAP; no additional edge obtained from spending more money on the game.
- Still no cross-deck customization; unlocked cards remain fixed to the deck they're in.
- Also still lacking more in-depth help text for special cards and effect words.
Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 has long since set itself up as a prototypical 'yearly' franchise, but for long-time fans this is nothing new and the iPad version of the latest title lends itself perfectly to the series thanks to visceral touch controls.
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I feel I would have to officially hand in my 'nerd card' if I ever lost the urge to want to play a casual game of Magic: The Gathering with my friends. Sure, some people are going to invest themselves more in the collectable card game than others, but all it takes is a pre-made deck and players looking to have fun and you'll find that the evening gleefully melts away.
Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 by Stainless Games is the first installment of Wizards of the Coast's popular CCG to make its way on to the App Store. It's an iPad exclusive too, but this is only to be expected given the (potentially) huge amount of cards that can be placed on the field at any one time - that and it gives the game a chance to showcase the beautiful artwork on each card.
For those familiar with the Planeswalker series thus far, I need not waste more time in explaining the game - it's exactly what we've seen before, albeit with each deck receiving major overhauls to keep the challenge fresh.
For everyone else, Magic: The Gathering is a game of strategy, wits and more than a dash of luck (though proper deck management can tip the odds in your favor). While only two decks are initially available, each with 60 cards on offer, you can defeat opponents (repeatedly if you like) to unlock additional cards for the deck you're using (up to a total of 90), while also unlocking new base decks in the process. Each one has a specific theme or style of gameplay associated with it (be it aggressive, controlling, speedy, defensive, and so on), but the additional cards you unlock can focus or completely change the style of a deck, making customization and deck personalization worthwhile.
This is especially important if you decide to take the fight online to duel against real opponents - being able to surprise them with an unexpected combination may be the difference between success or failure. No same-device dueling is available, but without a viable way to shield your hand it's an obvious omission. Instead, players can invest themselves in the many challenging AI duels as well as puzzles and additional game modes while unlocking new cards.
What makes Planeswalker 2013 such a great choice for the iPad is its touch interface, something that gives it a visceral edge the PC or console versions can't match. Being able to fling out a card from your hand or hold down on an opponent's card makes the iPad version feel like the next-best thing to a real match.
If you fancy yourself a bit of a card jockey or you've always wanted to try Magic: The Gathering, but didn't have the time or friends to make it happen, this is a definite must have for your iPad.
DescriptionMagic 2013 runs best on iPad 3 and iPad 4. For best performance on iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display, we recommend downloading Magic 2014.
NOTE: Magic 2013 is a high-performance game. For an optimal experience, please close any other open apps and ensure there are no active downloads running in the background.
Face a greater challenge with Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013!
In the latest installment of this hit franchise, travel across the fantastic plane of Shandalar as you face encounters, and battle powerful Planeswalkers.
Magic 2013 offers new features including statistics-tracking for your game play and, for those already skilled in slinging spells, the option to choose what lands to tap when you cast your spells.
• 3 decks with 5 unlockable cards each
• Single-player campaign across the plane of Shandalar
• 4 deadly opponents, including the Planeswalker Garruk Wildspeaker
• Encounters, a new feature in which you test your skills against different preset AI strategies
• Planechase mode, which changes the rules with a randomized deck of cards based on the planes of the Magic Multiverse
Additional content is also available for purchase. Premium content package will get you:
• 7 additional decks to unlock
• 250+ additional cards unlockable through play
• 18 additional Campaign levels across the planes of Ravnica, Alara, and Innistrad, plus 11 revenge matches and 3 Planechase battles.
• 10 puzzling challenges
• Online one-on-one Multiplayer play
• Two-Headed Giant and Custom game modes
• Pit yourself against the Multiverse’s ultimate evil mastermind, the dragon Planeswalker Nicol Bolas, in the single-player campaign
• Access to deck key and foil conversion in-app purchases
• Additional downloadable content as it becomes available
Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 runs best on iPad 2 or later.
Game content available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and Brazilian Portuguese.
What's New in Version 1.4.0New in-app purchases:
Magic 2013 - Deck Pack 3
Seeking to expand your mastery and defeat your foes? This Magic 2013 deck pack includes two brand-new decks for Campaign and Multiplayer play. The blue and black “Rogues’ Gallery” deck disrupts your enemies’ plans with spells, then summons stealthy mages and shadowy undead to deliver the killing blows. Wield all five colors of magic with the “Mana Mastery” deck. A pentacolor array of spells will help you keep the battlefield clear while you set the stage for towering, indomitable creatures!
“Rogues' Gallery” Deck Key
Unlock the "Rogue's Gallery" blue and black deck. Contains 69 cards plus basic lands. Requires Deck Pack 3.
“Rogues' Gallery” Foil Conversion
Convert all uncommon, rare, and mythic rare cards in the "Rogue's Gallery" blue and black deck to premium foil cards. Requires Deck Pack 3.
“Mana Mastery” Deck Key
Unlock the “Mana Mastery” five-color deck. Contains 70 cards plus basic lands. Requires Deck Pack 3.
“Mana Mastery” Foil Conversion
Convert all uncommon, rare, and mythic rare cards in the “Mana Mastery” five-color deck to premium foil cards. Requires Deck Pack 3.