Magic: The Gathering Arena brings the legendary strategy card game to life on PC. The game that started it all remains unmatched in depth, cards, and competition.
Released in 2018, Arena brings the fun of Magic: The Gathering including the ability to challenge friends, to the PC without the issue of trying to get a group together.
The game is for PC only that this time and in Beta (as of 3/17/19), and is free to play with in-game purchases for add-ons and events (tournaments). Every win earns you gold you can spend in game and some reward gems for events and other purchases, so you do not have to spend any real money.
Similar to Blizzard’s Hearthstone, Magic: Arena gives you a playing board where you sit across from your opponent to use the decks you construct (or one you win during the tutorials – they give you a LOT of pre-constructed decks) to battle your opponent. It keeps track of wins and losses letting you build up your rank each “season” (month) with rewards given in the form of gold you can spend in game and card expansion packs.
Animations show you the cards and some have special animations when played. New expansions are released regularly letting you build and customize your decks any way you like building new strategies and game play as you learn.
Magic was always one of my favorite games, but these days getting friends together for anything is never easy. Arena gives you the option to play any time you like and recently added the ability to build a friends list and challenge them (I am listed as Scifispace#32150 of course so challenge me!)
Arena is far superior to Wizards of the Coast’s previous attempt at a PC version with great graphics and game play. The Tutorial will pretty much teach you all the basics and the rest is learning how different cards work together to give you the win. The tutorial also rewards you with a LOT of re-made decks (18 when I started) that you can then clone and edit to experiment. I haven’t spent any real money on the game and the only reason to would be if you wanted to build your card collection faster but with every win giving me you expansion packs, many of which contain wild cards you can craft into cards you don’t otherwise own, this is one game you really can play free forever.
The only drawback some may have with Arena is that it is not currently available for mobile and must be played on PC (Hearthstone has a leg up in this regards).
Lori has been a science-fiction fan since the age of 12. She is owner of Scifispace.com as well as Scifi-Collector.com and previously chaired science fiction conventions.