Magic 2014 is Wizards of the Coast’s latest foray into capturing the rapidly shifting male demographic. Once upon a time, geeks would congregate at the local comic book store to sacrifice their hard earned salary or allowance to their geekish desires. This was the era where Wizards of the Coast made the killing off those darned booster packs. I was a ‘victim’ of sorts so I know all too well about Magic: The Gathering.

Seeing Magic 2014 appearing on Steam again re-kindled my interest in the title. I was interested to see how much has changed since I left the game at the end of the Rath Cycle. After taking a good look and an extensive playthrough later, I can safely conclude that Magic 2014 is the exact same game that I had left it. While I had expected to see brand new mechanics and such, Magic 2014 is the perfect game to reel in potential players into the world of Collectible Card Games (CCGs).

magic2014-layout
Everything is laid out nice for you. Just pick your cards to play and the AI handles everything else. Plenty of hand holding along the way.

At the present moment, there are a plethora of CCGs in the market at the moment. During family gatherings, I see my young nephews challenging each other at Vanguard, another wildly popular CCG that has a TV show tie in. So where’s the room in this era for Magic 2014?

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This is where the ‘magic’ of video gaming comes in. With Magic 2014, you would always have an opponent to play with. Be it the computer or some other player on the other side of the globe. In my experience, presently, there hardly is a wait time in between games to search for an opponent. Why waste your time testing your brand new deck against the AI? There’s a human player out there who probably has the same idea as you.

magic-2014-deckbuilding
Deck building is a breeze. The AI can help autocomplete your deck based on your initial picks even.

Unfortunately, Magic 2014 is just one of those games that are very hard to articulate in terms of how it plays and how much fun factor one can derive from it. Magic: The Gathering in its whole is a massive game that requires a player to spend some time to learn all the nuances of the game. I’m pretty sure out there on the Internet there’s a guide that does an amazing job in explaining everything. In Magic 2014, the designers have done just the right amount to ease new players into the game. Truth be told, it should be expected of them considering that this is not the first video game edition of Magic, but I can safely say it’s the most well designed for novices to get into the game.

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Magic 2014 is perfect for one reason – There is no power creep. This means that players do not have to pay any more than their initial $10 to have access to the full range of cards at their disposal. While this limits the deckbuilding aspect of the game. The lack of “pay to win” would be a huge appeal to everyone and anyone. Want more? There’s always the offline version of the game too! That in itself is another beast that requires a separate blog post to discuss at length.

My only gripe of the game? The UI is terrible on PC but amazing on my Nexus 7. Apart from that, Magic 2014 is solely aimed towards new players and veterans of the game are better off at their offline store with their regular gaming clique.

Magic 2014 is available on all devices and consoles out there – PC, Android, iOS, Playstation 3 & Xbox 360.


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Review overview

Gameplay9.6
Story4
Presentation3
Value10

Summary

Free to try on all platforms to get your feet wet. I had trouble giving an old game a good score simply based on my nostalgia. Magic 2014 loses a bulk of its points on a sloppy version on the PC. The story mode is ho-hum but that does not really affect your overall game experience.

6.7
Gerald

Gerald

Gerald currently straddles between his love of video games and board gaming. There's nothing that interests him more than trying out the newest and fanciest gadget in town as well. He dreams of publishing a board game sometime in the future!