By: Nolan Locke
If you’re like me, and you barely exist outside of work, your marriage, and your children, you might constantly lament the loss of good gaming options. After all, you have 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there, and an hour in between jobs/errands where you throw food in your piehole before beginning more… honey-do list items, or ‘dad take me to any of the nine things I do each week’.
You haven’t sat around a gaming table for months, and you haven’t found an app game that doesn’t suck ass. It’s all repetitive, mindless nonsense, you say to yourself, grinding for no end game. The story is nonexistent, or you have to pay to play anything decent. You’ve resigned yourself to LitRPG audiobooks on the commutes to and from work.
What if I told you (he said, holding a red pill and a blue pill) that you don’t have to pay money for a great game, you don’t have to sacrifice, and that there’s a game with a good Intellectual Property managed relatively well?
You’d say ‘there’s a D&D online game!?’ and I’d respond, sadly, no. Not that I know of anyway.
There is, however, Magic the Gathering’s match 3 game: Puzzle Quest. Not only is it good, it has a core of fans all around the world playing in a number of languages, and over 6,000 unique cards. We’re talking a match 3 puzzle game that’s been going strong for over 6 years.
Take the things you enjoyed about MtG growing up and compact them down into 3-10 minute battles. Take out the slow progression of each battle and punch it up a notch. Take the other player out of the equation and match up against decks built by other players, managed by AI.
You have an experience with over a hundred different unique planeswalkers. The old characters are there: Jace, Nissa, Liliana, Chandra, and Gideon, along with dual color and tri-color characters: Karn, Nicol Bolas the dragon god, a fae trickster, a werewolf who transforms in the middle of matches, twins who tag in and out of play.
You’ve got your minotaur who looks to have a boiling furnace inside his body, a genderless figment of your nightmares, a zombie planeswalker with a gold mask on, the literal embodiment of the Dungeon Master. There’s a giant, a time traveler, a dragon enthusiast, a god of spiders.
There’s a merfolk character, a martial artist, a demon character, a devil character (they’re different), an Indian artificer, an Egyptian dual wielding blademaster, a vampire, a spirit dragon, a gorgon, a furry catman, an elf from mythic Scandinavia, a dude who’s replaced most of his body with living metal… and whatever others I missed.
As for the cards, you remember MtG.
Look at this BAMF
Same deal, just digital
Now, over 6 years into the game, they have 35 different card sets from such wondrous planes as: Egypt where the gods have been corrupted, Japan where cyberpunk meets actual spirits, King Kong meets Godzilla meets Pokemon world, the gigantic world-spanning city plane, the dinosaurs vs pirates vs merfolk vs indigenous Aztecs vs vampire conquistadors plane, the PLACE WHERE IT ALL BEGAN IN 1993, the vampire versus werewolf world… which is basically Twilight, now that I think about it…
But way better.
Planes don’t stop there… you’ve got Ravnica (cityworld), Innistrad (supernaturalworld), Eldraine (fableworld), Kaldheim (Odinsworld), Theros (Zeusworld), Kaladesh (magitechpunk Indiaworld), Strixhaven (Hogwartsworld), Zendikar (floatyislandworld), and Adventures into the Forgotten Realms. You can literally roll d20’s in Magic: the Gathering’s bastard cousin app, and delve into dungeons.
So everything you ever knew in MtG is here, only easier. The time commitment has been shaved down, the amazing artwork and flavor have not. The cards are gorgeous and have much of the same functionality as paper. Each new set includes, in classic MtG fashion, new rules that make old planeswalkers relevant, and introduce new possibilities of card utilization from various sets.
Even with decks that are 10 cards, you can still combine various mechanics and abilities to make bizarre loopy win conditions possible.
I’ve been digging it for the last 6 years, and in your spare time, you could too.
This is the first segment in a series of articles about MtG:PQ. Come back weekly for more of whatever this ends up being.