If you've noticed my various ramblings regarding Magic the Gathering either on the actual site or during the podcast, you'd know I'm a huge fan of the game. I've looked forward to the previous installments in the Duels of the Planeswalker series, so, it's not much of a surprise that the 2013 variety was among the things I was most looking forward to checking out at E3.

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 plays very similar to previous installments, with a whole heap of tweaks and refinements that we've already gone over in previous articles. For players familiar with the game, 2013 does things like allowing for specific mana tapping. At the same time, it's gotten even more newbie friendly in providing you suggestions of what you should play on your turn if you're totally new to the game.

We got to see the iPad version for the first time yesterday, and while I had my doubts about it originally, Wizards absolutely blew my mind. I'm not sure it would've surprised anyone if the iPad game was a watered down port of the console title, with fewer game modes. Maybe it's my lineage of still remembering the days of the dreaded Gameboy ports of arcade titles, but things getting lost in translation to portables is just something I'm used to.

 

 

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 for the iPad is the full experience. I'd argue it's the best way I've played a Duels of the Planeswalkers game so far. The touch controls work exactly as you'd expect them to. Playing cards from your hand is as simple as dragging them on to the play field, targeting is done by tapping, and a few on-screen buttons control the rest of the things you need to do to advance the game. It feels so much better than playing with a controller.

The retina display of the new iPad is what allows Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 to pull ahead from the rest of the versions in a big way. On the 360 and PS3 the only thing that you can really make out on the cards in your hand and on the play field is the card art. Once you're familiar with your deck, all you really need to see is the art, but on the retina display all of the card text is clearly visible.

Oh, but wait, it gets better. The best part of playing Magic is multiplayer, and Duels of the Planeswalkers comes with full Game Center support for two player multiplayer. The lack of four player multiplayer seems to be the only thing the iPad port is packing. The good news, though, is you can still play four player games, but you're limited to AI opponents. Regardless, I wasn't really expecting multiplayer at all, much less seamless Game Center integration.

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 will be hitting the App Store on the same day as the PC, Xbox, and PS3 versions of the game on June 20th. Wizards is also sending us some screenshots, but because of the complexity of keeping cards in the new set a secret they need to go through a few filters before we can release them to the wild. We might have screens today, so keep an eye out for that.

  • regkilla

    Only for iPad? WTF!

    • odi0n

      Wizards moves very slow.
      It took them awhile to release it on PC & PS3.
      I am sure it will become available on the other mobile devices - but again, Wizards is slow. Hopefully this version is not as buggy as 09' & 2012.

    • Cole Bennett

      um does it say that? no, it says that its for others as well. dumbass

      • lepeos

        He's probably referring to a lack of an iPhone edition dumbass

      • regkilla

        Yeah that's what I meant. There should be love for the iPhone 4S too. Cole Bennett should think before he speaks out his behind.

  • 1337brian

    YES, YES, YES!!!

  • skubish

    Can't wait!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/lljk_indigoe indigoe

    Any news on price point?

  • tops2

    What about the IAP to purchase new cards? My friend always tried to get me into Magic but I was wary of constantly buying new cards (since that's what it seems like he's always doing). Can you have fun and be competitive with the iOS version if you don't buy new cards?

    Ascension is perfect to me since you don't need to buy new cards to still have fun and even be competitive if you want.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fokion-Harokopos/1533190553 Fokion Harokopos

      Everybody is using the same (ten or so) decks and potentially the same pool of cards in the DOTP games. If it's structured the same way as 2012, IAP will be reserved for expansions and new deck packs.

      • odi0n

        ^This

      • tops2

        Ahh.. That's for the clarification.

  • Rothgarr

    I wish it had asynchronous multiplayer like Ascension... Any word on that?

    • Sojourn

      I posted this in the forum, but I thought it was relevant here as well: I'd be surprised if asynchronous was supported -- with every phase of every turn (including every time a card is played), it is possible for the other player to somehow respond. It would take forever to get through a turn if after every card/phase, you had to wait for your opponent to log back in and allow you to proceed.

      I'm super, SUPER excited for this game. I've been wanting M:TG on my iPad ever since the first iPad was released -- it seemed like it would be the perfect platform for a CCG.

      • Rothgarr

         That makes sense. With all the interrupts, a single turn can go back and forth any number of times so long as the mana and abilities are available...

      • Sojourn

        Exactly. Quite a pain to do asynchronously, I would think.

  • wim

    Wil it be possible to play against me budy next to me on a different ipad?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fokion-Harokopos/1533190553 Fokion Harokopos

      If it's the same as the home versions, you'll be able to create a private lobby and invite your friend. It'll still be online, not ad hoc I suppose, but you'll be able to play only with your friend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fokion-Harokopos/1533190553 Fokion Harokopos

    If this didn't include multiplayer, it would be completely gimped. Multiplayer is the heart and soul of DOTP. Duels are fine for me, never really liked 3 or 4 player Magic. However, it wouldn't hurt to include that as well... Perhaps it's a platform restriction.

  • Michael Kimble

    As an artist for the original CCG I'll be curious what cards are being used and who, among, my friends, have their artwork in the game as well. It might represent a new opportunity for us as artists too.

    • Sojourn

      That's so awesome! Enjoying the artwork is half the pleasure of the game for me -- and at this point in the game's history, there's a treasure trove of art to enjoy.

      If I'm not mistaken, DotP uses the same artwork as the paper cards, so if any of your (or your friends') artwork is being reprinted in the new set (M13), I would think that same artwork would be in the electronic version.

      • Rothgarr

        I hope the artwork, in addition to the card text, is retina-optimized.

    • Rothgarr

      Heh, I just did some google searches to see what cards you did -- I can't believe how many of your cards I still use in some of my decks (most of my physical cards are all old-school). very cool that you posted here!

    • http://www.facebook.com/alan.fox.9619 Alan Fox

      Wow, you were the artist to some of my favorite cards. Stupor was a near constant companion of mine, and pauper's cage was just awesome! The art of the newer cards just doesn't have the gravitas of the old, there are no real world correlations like there used to be.

  • odi0n

    Look up Wingspantt on YouTube. He has videos of the 4 playable demo decks. Not iPad version- PC, still, all versions are the same just different UI. enjoy.

  • geb

    So let's all hope this sells really well so they port the full Magic Online client over....

  • geb

    How cool is it to have Mike Kimble here - artist for the classic "Urza's Tower" and "Darkwood Boars" many a deck I built had his stuff!

  • Smullster

    Haven't seen this yet, but will this support the first gen iPad?

  • UnSurreal

    I seriously can not wait... somebody freeze me until it's June 20th.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rjgill1 Ryan J Gill

    Can not wait for this!