Magic: The Gathering

aka: MTG, Magic: Die Zusammenkunft, Shandalar
Moby ID: 530
Add-on (official) Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

The popular card game comes to the computer.

In single player mode, you start with a small deck of cards/spells, wander the land exploring dungeons and battling monsters (and their specific spell decks). Along the way, you win/lose spell cards, go to markets to trade or buy new ones, and pick up world magics and more life. The game ends when you defeat the 5 powerful elemental wizards.

Multi-player mode supports deck creation with any of the cards, as well as random "sealed deck" games.

This game supported cards from Alpha, Beta, Unlimited and Revised and 4th edition. It also had 12 new cards from the "Astral Set" made specifically for the game.

Spellings

  • 魔法风云会 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

91 People (73 developers, 18 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 15 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 3 reviews)

Good, light Magic

The Good
This game was a great "casual game" for anyone who enjoyed the non-virtual version of Magic: The Gathering. The duel portion could easily be played while talking on the phone or doing other tasks.

What I didn't like about the game is kind of a dubious gripe--the AI was too good and ended up kicking my butt! Of course, this is really a compliment to the developers--I don't think the AI really cheated--but it would have been nice to win more often! Really, the AI was surprisingly good and rarely did "stupid" things and often played really, really well.

I loved that this game could be run in a normal window--it didn't have to be fullscreen like most games. Again, making it a great casual game.

The whole quest aspect of the game, while not essential, was an interesting addition to the franchise.

The Bad
I have two gripes with this game. First, it was a memory hog. But this was due to large amount of hi-res images it used for cards. It was obvious that they tried to minimize memory used by using some sort of compression on the images, but even so, it took loads of RAM and could significantly impact the operation of other programs and the OS as a whole. This is not something I fault the developers for: they could've used crummy lo-res graphics, or the hi-res graphics the game was noted for. They opted for the hi-res graphics to make a more visually appealing game.

My biggest complaint is that the game won't install on anything but a Windows 95 machine! After Windows 98, 2000 and XP came out, it wouldn't install on any of those machines, even though they could easily run it. The install saw that the Windows version wasn't 95 and would exit!

The Bottom Line
Magic

Windows · by Frecklefoot (188) · 2007

If you like M:TG, the game is great...

The Good
I have been playing M:TG for a few years, and I picked this up when I had the chance.

It's a fantastic game considering the complex nature of bringing a collectable card game to a PC.

If I tried explaining the game mechanincs here, it would take forever, and the Wizards of the Coast website (www.wizards.com) can explain the game MUCH better than I can :)

The Gameplay is different depending on how you play. You can play straight out Magic, which is great for practicing for real games. Then there is the Adventure game. You basically start oout as a neophyte wizard, and you walk around the land, battling creatures and stopping the bad guys from winning. When Battling, you ante a card from your deck, and if you lose, you lose the card, but if you win you get an opponents card.

The AI is also selectable from the beginning of the game. Apprentice to Wizard. And be forewarned, Wizard Class is TOUGH.

The graphics are beautiful. The artwork from each card is beautifully reproduced in the game, and is fun just to look at.

The sound is also well done. Great effects (dpeending on the spell), and you'll love the Goblin Polka Band :)

Another great feature is the tutorial. A FMV tutorial on how to play the game is included, and Microprose did a great job making the game easy to understand. Divided into 15+ parts, you can choose what you want to learn. Great for beginners or novices that need a refresher course on gameplay mechanics.



The Bad
The adventure game gets tedious after a while. Basically you have to get a type of card, or defeat a certain creature to gain card, etc. and that becomes tiresome after awhile.

The Bottom Line
A great translation of a complex card game.

Windows · by Chris Martin (1155) · 2000

The 2nd attempt to bring the card game into the computer realm. Worked perfectly.

The Good
Well, the only way you're going to truly enjoy this game is if you can actually play the card game itself, although I do have some aquaintances that do enjoy this game without having to play the card game.

But never fear! The original game itself came with a complete tutorial (A REAL DAMN GOOD ONE!) that teaches you the total basics of the card game. I must give an A++ on the tutorial for the developers. After that tutorial, it kinda helps you understand the game. But seriously, I played MTG before playing this PC version, only after playing the PC version did I finally understand ALL the rules. Playing with humans really suck sometime.

Anyways, it is definitely better than Battle Mage, the first attempt to bring Magic the Gathering into "reality" of PC Games. It's basically some type of RPG although wouldn't fit "exactly" in that category. Battle encounters are much similar to the original card game, with sound effects and automatic rules (no irritating subjective debates with human players). Basically, if you want to learn the card game, this game makes it a whole lot easier.

But wow. Whatever genius that finally came to their senses after the total disaster of MTG - Battlemage, surely made it all up with this game. Historically, this has to be one of the wierdest...or most oddest combination of gameplay. I wouldn't call it an RPG but it sure has a lot of "RPG" elements...only the statistical values of character development are substituted by your card deck.

Odd indeed. The game is divided into 2 major gameplays: Your standard adventuring of overland travel...and the card game itself. Although it still would be a "decent" game without the adventuring...there wouldn't be much thrill if the game is just a standard "vs" computer like arcade games.

But the real question would be, if your not familiar with Magic: The Gathering would you even care about playing this game? Honestly, although with certain subjectivity as I have already been exposed to the card game...I would say yes. The tutorial helps big time, and when you do get down to playing the game, all the rules are totally automatic. It maybe a little confusing at the beginning, if not a lot confusing at the beginning as it is a very complicated card game...considering the hundreds of cards you'll come across, but like many other trial-and-error attempts in understanding a strategy game...you'll eventually understand it. And when you do...you might be inclined to buy the real card deck itself. But be warned, human players don't take likely in losing...if not bad suckers when you meet runny nosed punks who hate giving away their prized card (ante) when they lose a match.

What else? Hmm... The music is "sufficient". I would say good as the music is decent enough and it totally fits the background, but nothing extremely special. The sound however is very good indeed. There are so many background sound effects that sometimes may get irritating, but you will miss it when it's turned off. Especially during playing the card game, certain actions provoke certain sounds. Sometimes you or your opponent plays a unique card that provokes some unique sound effects or music. My favorite is a goblin polka band which plays a funny polka song when you use its special feature.

The Bad
But boy did this game have a lotta bugs (and still after several patches). The first time around when I played this game, it had this totally irritating bug that prevented me from finishing the game. I don't recall what it was but it was enough to make me quit playing.

The are several other minor bugs where cards or effects do thing's there not supposed to. You'll figure that out by yourself. But one irritating thing is when playing a long game with an opponent, it suddenly thinks for a very long time. It's similar like when playing a PC opponent on a computer game, and it takes forever for them to move. Still happens unfortunately. It's not a crash...it's just lagged. Sometimes they move...often they don't.

There's also one thing that maybe just my imagination. Sometimes you get terrible starting cards when you play. Sometimes it happens so often you wonder if the program did it on purpose. I've had so many instances where my lands don't fit the color of my other cards or sometimes I get land cards everytime I draw. Other times, certain cards always show up more frequent than other cards. I wonder if the computer program actually does any "virtual shuffling". But like I said, it maybe just me...

The Bottom Line
It's a good start if you want to learn to play the MTG card game. It gets better if your already familiar with the game...

Windows · by Indra was here (20752) · 2004

Trivia

Patch

In 1999, Internet play arrived via a patch that allowed players to use TEN (the Total Entertainment Network.)

References

The data for all the cards in the game (type, name, description, etc.) is contained in a file called "master.csv" which is actually a .xls spreadsheet which can be easily read by Microsoft Excel. While it's fairly useless to edit it (saving changes leaves you with a corrupt game) it's interesting to note the amount of development-related jokes and references you can find in there. For instance, there's a "Terror from the Deep" card with an amusing description that refers obviously to Microprose's X-COM: Terror from the Deep, as well as other MPS games.

Information also contributed by Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tony Van.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, phlux, Patrick Bregger, S Olafsson, MrFlibble.

Game added December 5, 1999. Last modified January 19, 2024.