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Magic: The Gathering

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Released: 1997

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: PC - Windows

Publisher: Microprose

Developer: Microprose

magic the gathering

You normally associate Sid Meier with strategy hits such as Civilization and, more, recently, XCOM, but once upon a time he liked to dabble in a little bit of magic. Magic: The Gathering to be exact.

An adaptation of Wizards Of The Coasts’ ridiculously popular collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering was the last game Sid was involved with while he was still at Microprose.

Sid would go on to form Firaxis, but Magic was a solid legacy to leave behind as it played to all the strengths that made Sid’s games so enjoyable. There was strategy galore, a solid campaign and plenty of deep playability at its core.

Magic: The Gathering pitted you against 5 mages who were attempting to take over the world of Shandalar. Starting off with a deck that consists of a meagre number of spells, you must take on various foes and slowly build up your deck with more powerful spells.

It’s a great idea and really captures the collecting side of the original game. It’s further helped by a fantastic reproduction of the then current rules. Villages are dotted around the world and visiting them allows you to buy food, sell cards and go on special quests with the possibility to earn even more powerful cards as the game continues.

Microprose eventually added some additional expansions and an online multiplayer mode, but the game was eventually abandoned when Wizards moved over to the Magic: The Gathering Online that is in place today.

It can be rather hard in places (particularly if you face off against certain coloured mages) but persevere and you’ll discover a game that offers a surprising amount of deep strategy, especially as you continue to fine-tune your deck. Add in brand new cards that were exclusive to the game, and Magic: The Gathering turned out to be yet another excellent PC game. What a shame that Microprose couldn’t continue with it.


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