Magic 2013 Launches on iPad and Xbox: A Full Review

The iPad has proven to be an excellent platform for card games, thanks to its large, interactive touchscreen. From its inception, it hosted a variety of card game apps, including a virtual deck of cards that became an instant hit. Over the years, the platform has expanded to include a range of card games, from Hothead’s Kard Combat to other engaging titles like Ascension and Shadow Era.

Despite its popularity, Wizards of the Coast had long resisted bringing their flagship game, Magic: The Gathering, to iOS.

This game had seen versions on PC and consoles, but it wasn’t until recently that it made its way to iOS, despite fan-made versions that were quickly taken down by legal actions from Wizards.

Recently, the long-awaited Magic 2013 was released for iPad, offering an authentic gameplay experience that mirrors the full game with most of its modern rules and strategies. However, this version is essentially a port of the popular Duels of the Planeswalkers console series, which means it inherits some limitations such as predefined decks and a segmented campaign.

The initial download of Magic 2013 is free, offering five levels as a teaser. For a one-time fee of US$9.99, players can unlock the full game, which includes a 30-match campaign, 10 decks, and multiple opponents, including online play.

This pricing model provides substantial content, though the game’s digital format does not allow for the same flexibility as playing with physical cards.

One of the main criticisms of Magic 2013 is its interface, which was directly adapted from the console version designed for an Xbox 360 controller. This means the interactions with digital cards on the iPad are less tactile than they could be. The game also tends to run slowly, a carryover from the console game design that is less suited to the more intimate scale of a tablet screen.

Despite these issues, Magic 2013 offers a solid Magic experience, with clear, colorful cards and gameplay that remains true to the tabletop version.

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Michael Rose

Andrew is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to Apple news blog. With a keen eye for detail and a love for all things Apple, Andrew brings you the latest updates on iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Apple Watches. His insightful articles and reviews help readers stay informed about the newest features and innovations. When he’s not writing, Andrew enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest Apple gadgets. His commitment to delivering accurate and engaging content makes him a valuable member of the TUAW team.