It's still a few weeks before Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition hits the iPad and there's some filling in to do with your game time. That journey to work and back just ain't going to entertain by itself so, instead, pay a little heed to what good old PL has to say on App of the Day today.
If you haven’t heard of the fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering, then you either died in 1995 or this really isn’t the app for you. Magic’s move from purely coffee table to the virtual has been a really, really good one over the years. You can get it on all sorts of gaming platforms such as the Xbox Live Arcade as well as a bunch of more portable ones. Suddenly, you didn’t have to find someone else who was as geeky as you to play it and you didn’t need to indulge in the more niche area of swapping, collecting and winning more creatures for your deck. It also meant you could do it in private rather than suffer the slight embarrassment of your partner catching you with your cards out.
Well, Magic has now moved on a step by taking the FIFA approach of future dating the year of release with Magic 2013. What’s new? Well, a few things. First, of course, it looks better. Black is the new green or brown or whatever the main background hue used to be and it’s generally a bit swisher looking than it was. There are also a couple of new game modes apart from just the duals. With the main campaign there’s something called Encounters which are fights - ones with cards, of course - against specific set AI tactics. In practice, we couldn’t really see the difference between them and normal games but we appreciate the effort.
Now that - along with access to three decks, five unlockable cards, four deadly oppononents and as much gameplay as you like - is what you get for free, and, frankly, it’ll be enough for some people. For the full experience, though, you’ll need to fork out an iPad-sized payment of £6.99 for the Premium Content Package, which is probably a necessity if you’re going to get more out of Magic 2013 than a passing fantasy fix.
That hit buys a whole seven extra decks to unlock, 250+ cards, puzzle challenges, online multiplay, a two-headed giant, several minions and the right to call yourself Lord Magic Face 2013 (some of the afore may not be true).
Ultimately, if you like Magic, then there’s no need to puzzle. It’s a no-brainer. It’s more card-based fantasy fun, Dungeons and Dragons lite, a way to pass the time until Game of Thrones Season 3 comes out - however you want to look at it. And, if you’ve never played Magic before and you’re into the whole RPG fantasy genre, then dive on in. ut do be warned of the slightly silly feeling after a hard-fought victory: chess, this isn’t; a grandmaster, you are not.