Magic: The Gathering
Windows - 1997
Description of Magic: The Gathering
One of the best computer translation of a non-computer games ever made, MicroProse's Magic: The Gathering not only deserves a Hall of Fame status for its faithful rendition of Wizard of the Coast's blockbuster trading card game of the same name, but also for the numerous innovations that are only possible as a computer game.
For the uninitiated (and have never played Master of Magic before), Magic: The Gathering the card game pits two players, as powerful wizards, against each other in a magical duel, where each wizard can cast spells, summon monsters, and invoke various enchantments or curses. The game is turn-based, with each turn comprising several phases. The rules are too intricate to go into detail here - suffice it to say that there are 5 colors, i.e. disciplines of magic, each with its own characteristic appropriate to that element. Blue, for example, is water, which prefers illusions and guile. Therefore, there are many blue illusion spells, and 99% of all blue monsters you can summon can swim. Green, on the other hand, represents Earth. You will therefore find many regeneration cards and forest creatures in this discipline. There are many types of cards: enchantment (which typically lasts infinitely, as long as it's maintained and not destroyed), creatures (which you summon), instant (spells that can be cast only once; the card must be discarded after use), land (gives our mana), artifacts, and more.
This computer game version, in contrast to the horrendous BattleMage game from Acclaim which is based on the same license, truly brings all the fun and subtleties of the card game to life via an elegant point-and-click interface and excellent graphics that does justice to the cards' original intricate artwork.
Not content with giving the players just a card game rendition, MicroProse wraps the entire card-game mechanics around an epic fantasy storyline, set in the world of Shandalar. As a novice but noble wizard, your goal is to defeat the powerful evil wizards who are wrecking havoc on the land. After creating your character, you start with a random deck, which include very standard (i.e. not very powerful) cards, most of the color of your choice. You amass more powerful cards by winning duels with wandering monsters, or taking on quests in the various villages using the multiple-choice interface that is based on a simplified version of Darklands engine.
The game also introduces a new concept of gems: which are difficult to obtain, but can be used as currency to trade for powerful, permanent artifacts that enhance your wizard's power (for instance, magical boots that lets him walk quicker than normal). There are 5 powerful wizards, one for each color, whom you must defeat, each of whom reside in a heavily-guarded fortress.
The bad news (and my only big gripe with the game) is that you cannot save in these castles (or any dungeon, for that matter). This means that you will have to replay many, many hours of stressful duels if you die right before getting to the damn room where the enemy wizard is in. Of course, defeating each of them gives you a great sense of accomplishment, and the best news is that all the minions of that wizard disappear forever from the game. No more centaurs once you defeat the green wizard, for example.
Another nice touch is the fact that every time you defeat a monster, you will see its boss lose some magical power (they are all psionically connected, it seems). It is therefore possible to gauge your progress, and see when the wizard is weakened enough for you to summon the confidence to attack his or her stronghold.
Virtually infinitely replayable, with gorgeous SVGA cards and backdrops, an extremely elegant gameplay interface, and a challenging AI, Magic: The Gathering is a definite must-have for every strategy gamer's collection. If you have never played the card game before, this computerized version could turn you into a hapless addict. And if you're a fan of SimTex' Master of Magic which is based on the card game, you're in for a real treat. *
Note: For some strange reason, Hasbro has stopped selling this original game, but they still sell Spells of the Ancient, a great expansion pack that not only allows you to use additional cards, but also adds the much-needed multiplayer mode (called "ManaLink"), and an authentic "sealed deck" option that is used in real MtG tournaments. Duels of the Planeswalkers, the last and best of the MtG games, boasts a much-improved AI, more cards, and multiplayer modes. It is therefore the most "complete" of all MtG games, and so is well worth hunting down on on-line stores and auction sites.
Review By HOTUD
Magic: The Gathering has an addon available: Magic: The Gathering - Spells of the Ancients, don't miss it!
How to play Magic: The Gathering Windows
An updated version named Duels of the Planeswalkers is available, with all the Spells of the Ancients add-on, in its original format and the reworked 2010 edition. This page has the original version of the game.
Comments and reviews
500gHackfleisch 2021-02-03 0 point
Shandalar always crashes with me .. Only sealed and single match mode is possible. Is there a patch for Win7 that is more stable?
LJW1912 2020-05-05 -2 points
For everyone who's commented asking what to do, the game should come as an archive file, extract that to a folder using winzip/WinRAR or whatever, and that's it. All you have to do is click on the application icon in the folder (Should be the Black mana symbol-type skull). There's no install or anything, if that's where the confusion lies. Windows 10/64bit, in case anyone was wondering :)
admin 2020-03-04 5 points
Check out the Duels of the Planeswalkers page to get the upgraded 2010 version, Clickbaitsucker did not find it.
Tuktuk 2019-04-17 3 points
This youtuber has the right instructions to get this game and run it on Windows 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2ElS9C7qik
OhMyrGod 2018-07-02 2 points
Whenever I try to run the game I get an error that it could not load Dave's Extra Cool Timer and a phone number to call
J Bizel 2018-05-18 0 point
Okay I have a stupid question. Which file that I download is not a pdf file?
J Bizel 2018-05-18 1 point
When the download finishes I don't know what to do next. Also I'm here because I rewatched Projared play this for like the 4th time. So if someone could tell me how to get the game launched that would be great
dude 2018-04-21 4 points
hey so i'm new to this type of thing but how do i play this? I downloaded it and got the files but i dont know what to do form there?
MonsterDad 2017-12-31 -6 points
Best game ever worst damn programming on top of it the game is shit all versions even new updated plays great then it goes to shit and the programming has some cheating going on i have seen the game take extra turns with no spell at all i have seen the game just shut down cuz its losing - 5 stars from me thats a minus sign -5 stars cuz it sucks even when im in shandalar and i pick up dice in the castles the game locks up and i do not want to hear a single person say its me i have played this on 7 different computers and 5 different operating systems same result every single time
pruet 2017-10-10 3 points
happens every time, i can play. then when i wanna look at my deck or buy cards, it wont allow me and the game crashes.
pretty annoying, even tried the deck builder fix, didnt help. any ideas? something im doing wrong maybe?
running win 10
Purple 2017-09-16 3 points
I saw ProJared's playthrough of this, and it looks like a lot of fun. Hopefully this download works with Wine.
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