Magic: The Gathering
Well Top Trumps Was Never 'anorakish' was it? Honestly, it's getting so a man can't have an ordinary hobby without being labelled as some kind of sad, trainspotting, socially unacceptable outcast. It's not as if I'm beheading small babies or exposing myself in public, is it? It's only a game. Okay, so it's got wizards in it! And dragons! And you cast spells and that! It's just a bloody game, that's all! I don't go around thinking I can do magic in real life or anything! I don't go down the shops and say, "Right, give me 20 Rothmans or I'll tap my island and cast a Freeze Newsagent spell on you!" I do drink beer you know! I like women! it's only a sodding game!!! (There, there. Calm down - Ed.) Sob.
Social skills notwithstanding, Magic: The Gathering is, in case you live in the blissful town of Unaware or the neighbouring village of Ignorance, a phenomenally successful card game that has swept the world and revitalised the non-computer games industry, much as Dungarees & Drag Queens did back in the '70s (Dungeons & Dragons - Ed.) Now you can't move in the games section of the Virgin Megastore for fear of knocking over a well-stacked display of card decks, covering just about every subject you can think of from Wizards to Modern Warfare to Spaceships and Aliens. There are even the licensed games such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Highlander and any number of Marvel Super Heroes to do battle with.
But Magic was the original and still, most enthusiasts would argue, the best, having sold over 500 million cards across the world since its inception in 1993. The idea is so simple it hurts -you have a deck of cards (spells), you can pick and choose what cards are in that deck from the thousands available - which, naturally, you have to find and buy first - then you 'duel' (as it were) with a 'friend' (so to speak) by casting the spells at each other until one of you drains the other's life points. The spells include monsters to attack with, weapons to do direct damage with and other spells that affect the shape of each game in lots of different ways.
Sid Meier, Wizard at Large
There are two sides to MicroProse's version, a single-player adventure style game that's been designed by avid Magic player and all-round games Buddha, Sid Meier (in his last project for MicroProse before he sets up shop by himself), and a straight one-on-one duel with the computer. The adventure game is designed to act as an introduction to the world of Magic and teaches you about the different elements of the game as you play. The idea is that you are a lone wizard out to save the world by battling other creatures and wizards across the land of Shandalar. Every combat takes the form of a Magic card duel and the player has to build up a collection of cards (spells) as he journeys until he's powerful enough to defeat the ultimate menace. It's the trading aspect that has made Magic into the phenomenon that it is today. Because there are so many different cards and because a large number of them have only limited print mns, getting your hands on certain cards in real life becomes a very tricky affair. It's rather like the days of Panini football stickers from your schooldays (repeat after me: "Got, got, need, got, need, got, got, ooh an Arsenal badge. I'll give you five Ipswich players for it. All right six, and two Steve McMahons..."), the only difference being that a really rare card can fetch anything up to $500 and even the lowliest of common ones can still sometimes prove more useful than anything else in your deck. It's all about strategy. Know your cards, know your deck and know what you need to improve it.
Meier has chosen to implement this vital side of the product into the singleplayer adventure game by including shops and trading caravans in the game world. As the player travels and duels, thus slowly building up his collection of cards, he can visit different shops that will have different cards available either to buy or to trade with. The straight duelling game works by including every card in the real-world starter editions and the first two expansion packs for you to pick and choose from at will. You're probably thinking that's a bit daft, aren't you? Surely everyone will just pick the best cards and have the perfect deck? And you'd be right, if it wasn't for one little thing. There's no such thing as the perfect deck.
It's precisely that reason why Magic has proved so popular. Because there are so many different cards, and because they all work in different ways with each other, as I said, there's no such thing as the one perfect deck. Every card has strengths and weaknesses. Certainly, some are vastly powerful, but there's always a way to beat every deck. That's why strategy is so important in the game: you have to decide in advance which kind of deck is going to be the best bet to beat your opponent. A deck full of quick-to-cast creatures that take a long time to wear your opponent down or a deck that takes its time, setting up its pieces slowly and carefully, then delivering one all mighty knockout blow just before the end? How about a defensive deck that nullifies everything your opponent tries to do but doesn't do a lot of damage in return? The options, like life, are limitless. And since my dearly beloved grandmother used to say, "Always leave them on a metaphor for life'', that's exactly what I'll do.
Duelling all over the world
Once MicroProse have released the first version of Magic to the world and stood back to see how it goes, they'll set about releasing the second version. What's in the second version, you ask? Only the most important feature of all - network options! Yes, forget about Quake, wave goodbye to Command & Conquer, bid farewell to, er, Falcon 3. Multi-player Magic is where the future's at baby, and you'd better book your ticket now, 'cos when this train pulls outta the station, there ain't no one gonna be left on the platform...
Ahem, sorry. Enthusiasm and all that. Networks, servers and of course the Internet will all feature in the second version of the game (which will be an add-on for the first rather than a separate entity), allowing players to start duelling each other right around the world. Finally the global village! The world unites in a common cause. Wars are fought with cards not guns! Gibber.
Download Magic: The Gathering
Magic, the wildly popular card game that's the biggest RPG sensation since Dungeons and Dragons, finally materializes in the video game world, ready to cast spells of enchantment on all who venture to play.
Six mighty wizards are lured to the land of Corondor by Ravidel, a ruthless plainswalker who's gone insane from the hardships of war. His desire is that the wizards weaken each other so he can destroy them all, thereby becoming the most powerful creature in the universe. Three of the warring wizards are Conquerors, who are trying to capture as much land and power as possible, while the other three are Defenders, seeking merely to protect the land and people of Corondor from battle and bloodshed.
Magic offers two modes of gameplay: The Duel mode enables one or two players (using a split screen) to engage in Magic-style war, just as if they were playing the card game. This means you battle your opponent with cards that display over 200 creatures, spells, artifacts, and enchantments from the Magic: The Gathering series. In addition to pre-made, random, or custom decks of cards, you can also choose new cards from the expansion deck called Mirage.
The Campaign mode is more like a strategic war-sim adventure where players build armies, research spells, and conquer territories on their way to a final showdown against Ravi-del. When you encounter enemies, play shifts to the Duel mode, where you must once again use spell and creature cards to destroy tt)e enemy and capture his mana.
WitH all the expectations surrounding this game, hopefully Acclaim will pnake some 32-bit Magic this holiday season.
The card game that has taken the country by storm is now ready for a home system launch--and they've added more features, real-time battles, and a hidden character set based on the unpublished "Mirage" series. The two action modes include strategic battles and quick action duels, and you can customize your set with unique creature and spell combinations. Gather round--the Magic will soon be here!
Prepare yourself for the next level of strategy. Magic: The Gathering-BattleMage will be released soon for the PlayStation and Saturn. It is a fully animated strategy game that brings the artifacts, monsters and mystical spells of the Magic universe to life in a battle of wits and wizardry.
The game will contain over 90 interactive encounters across i 30 different territories. BattleMage offers two modes of play. The Duel Mode is a realtime head-to-head game that allows you to build a customized army of creatures and spells that come from the card game. You can play against the computer or against another player on the game's split-screen feature.
You can also engage in a second mode, called the Campaign Mode. This part is a turn-based strategy game in which you conquer territories and accumulate magical artifacts and spells in the midst of an epic war. Throughout this campaign, you will have various encounters with different beings from the Magic universe. Some of these encounters will be in your favor, providing you with silver, spells, artifacts and clues. Some will have adverse effects as well. Each time the Campaign Mode is played, new magical powers can be found, including brand-new, never-before-seen spells.
The strategy aspect in this game is nothing to scoff at. When facing off in the various battlefields, you will have to balance your time between collecting magical energy (called mana) and fighting.
Not only will you have to use spells and artifacts to your advantage, but you will need to utilize the terrain for tactical purposes. For example, use hills to protect a weak flank from a sneak attack, or use a passageway to lure enemy armies into a trap.
This title has enough features and depth to please any strategy fan. And let's not forget the Magic: The Gathering universe and how popular that has become. It looks like this game is going to be a hit when it debuts.
- MANUFACTURER - Acclaim
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Based on the hugely popular card game from Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering is a fantasy/strategy game where different cards give players special powers like spells and magic.
To capture the aspects of the card game, MicroProse created two modes. The Apprentice mode helps beginners learn the game as they play with any deck against the computer or in a simple quest-based game. In the multiplayer mode, gamers challenge each other online, either in head-to-head duels or in larger networked groups. Special care has been taken to translate the art styles of the cards authentically into Super VGA graphics.