Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers ReviewiOS
key review info
- Game: Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers
- Platform: iOS
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Wizards of the Coast and Stainless Games have teamed up once again to bring fans of the genre another game in the Magic the Gathering franchise, Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers.
The game is available now on Xbox LIVE arcade, on the PC via Steam, on the PlayStation Network, in the App Store and, for the first time, on Google Play.
All versions of the game share the same features, so whatever platform you own, it won’t offer you a much different gameplay experience.
Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers is aimed at casual players and/or newcomers, so hardcore players should not expect too many advanced features.
It is also important to understand that while this has been tagged as a TCG (trading card game), players won’t be able to trade any of the cards unlocked in Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers.
So, if you are one of those hardcore Magic the Gathering players, you might not like some of the game’s limitations. Unlike previous Magic games launched in the last couple of years, the one released last week has a few more features that make it more solid.
One of the most important aspects of Magic the Gathering is deck building. Magic 2014 offers this feature for both single player and multiplayer, so as you complete every challenge in the Campaign, you will unlock new cards and new decks.
Obviously, the single and multiplayer experiences are completely different, but each can be a good reason to buy this game.
No matter whether you are into multiplayer games or you simply want to experience a single-player campaign where you can leave whenever you want and continue later from where you left off, Magic 2014 should fulfill both needs.
The problem is that hardcore players will find the Sealed Play mode unrewarding. Personally, I did not have any troubles playing this format, but lots of players who have bought Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers complain that they only have 2 open slots for their Sealed Play mode decks.
Basically, this means that when you start the Sealed Play campaign, you will have the option to unwrap a number of boosters, which you can use to build your deck. The main issue is that this deck will be locked to this slot and you won’t be able to change it with another one.
However, you will be able to make changes to your sealed deck using the Deck Manager option, but you will only be able to use cards dropped from the unwrapped boosters.
If you are not into deck building, the Deck Manager offers you an Auto Build option, so you can start playing as soon as all boosters are unwrapped.
When you start a Sealed Play campaign, you will notice that some of the opponents will offer you a free booster pack if you are able to defeat them. This only happens once and the cards you get from these boosters can also be used to improve your sealed deck.
Those who are not content with only two sealed decks at their disposal and wish to try their luck can purchase an additional slot for $2. You will immediately receive a new slot for a sealed deck and some booster packs in order to build it.
Once you reach slot number 5, you will need to pay around $9 in order to open the next 5 slots. That’s a lot of money to pay for those who are not satisfied with their sealed decks and want additional slots.
Before purchasing the game, you get the chance to play a single-player campaign across the plane of Shandalar. You will have 3 decks at your disposal, each with 5 unlockable cards. You can also battle one Planeswalker for free.
In order to get access to the premium content package, you will have to pay around $10. That will get you 7 additional decks that can be unlocked, more than 250 additional cards unlockable by defeating various opponents, 4 Planewaker battles and no less than 18 campaign levels across the planes of Ravnica, Alara, Innistrad and Zendikar.
As soon as you complete the single-player campaign, you have access to several much harder Revenge levels. It is also worth mentioning that you can unlock all cards included in a deck if you pay $1.
Developers have also added a puzzle mode called Challenges. There are 10 challenging levels that require players to defeat their opponents in one turn. Each puzzle has only one solution, which may or may not be as easy as you think.
Obviously, purchasing the game will give you access to online one-on-one Multiplayer mode. You can play free-for-all or sealed. If you choose the first option, you will be able to choose one of the decks that you unlocked while completing the single-player campaign.
As I have already mentioned earlier, for sealed multiplayer mode, you will use one of your two sealed decks. If you have previously purchased additional slots and build more decks for sealed play, you can use any of those.
In addition, Magic 2014 – Duel of the Planeswalkers offers players a two-headed giant mode and a special Custom Game mode.
I have completed the single-player and sealed campaigns in about 6 hours, but depending on your deck and skill, it can take less time.
I suggest to those who expect Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers to offer the same TCG experience as Magic the Gathering to looks elsewhere. Magic 2014 does not allow you to trade your cards, so no matter how many sealed deck slots you purchase, they will be locked onto your account.
Last but not least, Magic 2014 – Duel of the Planeswalkers features Leaderboards, so you will be able to see how well you faired compared with other players.
I do recommend the game to casual players and newcomers, but I’m not so sure that those who are playing Magic the Gathering on a regular basis will enjoy the experience as much as I did.