GAME REVIEW: MAGIC 2015 – GARRUK’S REVENGE / DEVELOPER: STAINLESS GAMES / PUBLISHER: WIZARDS OF THE COAST / PLATFORM: XBOX ONE, XBOX 360, PC, iPAD, ANDROID / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Garruk’s Revenge is an expansion for Magic 2015, the video game version of popular card game Magic the Gathering; a collectable card game that relies on luck and strategy. The player assembles a deck of cards based on their collection, and the rules on the cards are designed to interact in specific ways. Building these decks is an essential part of this popular game, and this electronic version allows you to do so without lugging cardboard boxes everywhere.
This add-on’s main feature is that it does away with micro-transactions; those unwilling to spend money on ephemeral online cards can earn them through play, and those who did buy cards can now pick up this expansion for free instead.
Garruk’s Revenge doesn’t change the core Magic 2015 game very much; the basic interface is the same and mostly it adds 51 new cards, most of which are from the game’s Alara setting. You also get a fresh mini-campaign, which lets you battle a series of foes in order to get new cards. Each opponent is different enough to make it worth your time to adjust your deck between games. First timers are forced to use a set deck at the start, which is actually quite useful for newbies. Much like the core game, much of this product’s focus is about getting you into the game itself. Garruk’s Revenge is more an excuse to get reacquainted with the game than anything else.
The expansion makes no radical changes to the game’s interface; the animated card movements and slightly-involved controls remain unchanged. Multiplayer users are now rewarded with extra cards for their collection, though it’s hard to shake the feeling that the essential social component of the game is lost in translation - part of the joy of Magic is interacting with your opponent, after all.
Still, if you can’t find anyone close by to play with, or you want to practice strategy and deck-building rather than reading your opponent and learning how to bluff, then this expansion and the main game itself are a useful tool. If you’ve ever wanted to get into collectible card gaming but prefer the comfort of a tablet, laptop or similar device than the gaming table, this is worth a look.
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