Magic: The Gathering – Tactics

I was in Elementary when I first played Magic The Gathering. My brother handed me a stack of cards and showed me the rules. I was hooked. I bought my first set of cards shortly after. I believe they were Mirage. Ice Age and Mirage became my most bought sets. I played Magic for years and even today play a game from time to time.

My brother and I recently played many games of the X-box 360 version. Around the same time I created a deck I jokingly named “Now You See Me, Now You don’t, Through the Air, Wall Deck”. I find humor in things with absolutely ridiculously long names. It consists of all cards that are phasing, or that disappear after a certain number of turns, or flying creatures or walls. It was all I could manage with the small amount of cards I found after a short hiatus from the game.

In Middle School I played Final Fantasy Tactics. I loved the game. I named all my characters after my friends from school. I remembered one of my friends always carried bandages, so I named my healer after him. I never beat the game but I enjoyed watching my brother beat it.

I continued playing Tactics style games. In fact, as far as I’m concerned Tactics is the name of the genre. That’s what my brother and I and all our friends call it. After FF Tactics was Kartia and after Kartia was one of the Ogre games, and then later on I got Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced. At last something captured the awesomeness of Final Fantasy Tactics. (And I could take it with me too!)

Then, a few days ago, I checked steam as I regularly do and I saw a Magic The Gathering game. I’m used to this since they keep releasing expansions for the recent MTG game. Or if they aren’t releasing as many as I think at the very least they keep advertising them. But then I noticed “Free to Play.” “What?” I said to myself thinking it was the other MTG game recently released. Did it go Free to Play so soon. Nope this is a different game. So I glanced at the name. Magic the Gathering Tactics.

“Magic The Gathering TACTICS,” I messaged my brother. Followed by “F2P.” I started watching the video. Less than half a minute I realized that I was watching a video when I could be setting the download. I had to play it. Even if the video wouldn’t have convinced me. I set the download. Then I watched the video. It looked interesting. I wasn’t convinced it would be good but it looked interesting.

MTG Tactics is a short download. The game has a few modes. Single player, Pick Up game, and Tournaments. And of course you can customize your decks. Upon starting single player you get a short tutorial. I have played a lot of games lately with really bad long annoying tutorials. This is not one of those games. The tutorial seems to be less than ten minutes long with loading between each sequence. Many will be able to just skip the tutorial as the game plays exactly like you would expect it to.

MTG Tactics is exactly what it sounds like. It is a Tactics game, where you play MTG. You are given a spell book which is basically your deck. Every Turn you draw cards and are automatically given mana. You cast spells exactly like you would in the MTG trading card game except creatures are controlled like in Final Fantasy Tactics. And you are on the field as well. You, the caster, can walk around and attack and even get enchanted.

The free Single Player Campaign is over in about an hour and the one unlock-able daily mission doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. If you want any more Campaign than that you are going to have to spend some money.

The Pick Up games as far as I can see are only one on one. The first match I played I completely destroyed my opponent. The second match I got destroyed equally thoroughly. In my third match my opponent disconnected and I had to wait several minutes before I could get out of the game. Before the disconnect though, the game was going pretty evenly matched.

I haven’t tried tournaments yet so I can’t say anything about them.

I would like to see them add 2v2 matches or maybe more. It would take a long time waiting for that many people to go but it could also be really fun. In the time I’ve played I didn’t unlock many cards to customize my deck with so some more cards would be nice. Other than that I think the game is a solid Tactics game. Any fan of Magic the Gathering and/or Tactics style games would do well to download this Free to Play game.