A look at MTG puzzle quest…

I’m going to be completely honest with you, as of late the more MMORPG’s I play the less I like the genre. While they do have some fun parts to them, they are more of a burden than a benefit these days. This may not be the same for you but it’s how I have been feeling lately. So I went back to a genre of gaming I started in (just not online all those years ago) and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found, so let’s review!

MTG Puzzle Quest (Mobile only)

So MTG has been is the longest standing game I have played in my life aside from maybe well nothing . I started playing the paper version in the “Limited Alpha” and carried on well into Ice age before taking a break from the paper version (I started dating and doing those normal teenage things). After a few expansions and core sets had come out I was finally married with a kid. This is the time that I found MTGO, and was instantly addicted, so addicted I went broke buying “tix” to build these amazing decks weekly! (my wife abruptly tried to put a stop to that bahahahahaha that was a fun time in my life. I played MTGO on and off for years and still have an account with THOUSANDS of cards, sadly I can’t remember the password and the email associated with the account is long gone.

Move forward a few more years (okay maybe like 10 years but whatever who’s counting?) when they decided it would be a good idea to give me a mobile phone that was for all intense purposes a computer I could play games on at work. Enter MTG Puzzle Quest stage left.

MTG puzzle quest in all of it basic glory is skinnerware, sadly Richard Garfield would not approve of my addiction to this game but that is irrelevant at this point as the damage is done.

About the game (in general)

The game is set up in a fashion that you don’t have to spend a dime but they make you want to. It’s business model is definitely relying on the fact that you will buy the micro transactions items they offer. These items range from card packs to specific legendary cards in a set of cards, crystals (used in game to buy packs and Planes walkers), and finally runes (the items used to level up Planes walkers). While I can honestly say I have not spent a dime on this game, I can say I have been tempted to. This is a very important point for me to make to myself when playing a new game I will potentially review on the site. When playing games for review I take into consideration a few bullet points form a list that looks like the following.

  • Gameplay
  • Business Model – Touched on above and mentioned on why not listed below.
  • If free to play is it truly free to play (can I be competitive)
  • Interface / Graphics
  • Level of actual fun
  • Content quality
  • Comparability with hardware (Other mobile configurations for this one)
  • If it has replay ability

We have talked about the business model already and that is not unlike most free to play games in the mobile as well as PC market. there isn’t much to say here so I’m going to leave it here in the introduction area.

Game play

Instead of writing a ton of info on the game play (as this is not a guide but I will be writing on of those in the near future) I recorded / streamed some my game play to Youtube. Here is what I got, be aware it has no sound as my wife was watching TV and the Youtube gaming app does not pickup game sound from the headphones. Also be aware that it’s a 4 hour video so feel free to skip around as I didn’t feel like editing the video.

Truly free to play?

This is a really hard subject to cover because I’m not telling you you shouldn’t pay for anything in free to play games, I would prefer you did the exact opposite, but I understand that not everyone has a ton of money to spend on games so hence this section.

Is it truly free to play? Short answer is YES!

The long answer is that you need to be patient and play the best cards you have. Open all of the free packs that are on 8 hour timers ( I literally set alarms on my phone that basically coincided with when I woke up, when I got home from work, and finally before I went to bed (This worked for my schedule you may have to find your own that works) It’s not hard, just open the app, click on the claim button, open the pack and go about your day / afternoon / night. There are three game modes, one of which is the “Story mode” which you will need to grind out at all times. the second mode is “Quick battle” which is really just you playing against other players decks (AI controlled). This is by far the fastest and funnest way to level up your Planes walkers, as you get to be matched to equally leveled players decks. Each win will reward you 300 runes and a level appropriate amount of “Ribbons”. Ribbons are rewarded based on Planes walker level so there is a reason to level your Planes walker. The ribbons are rewarded as follows:

  • 1-19 / 1 Ribbon
  • 20-29 / 2 Ribbons
  • 30-39 / 3 Ribbons
  • 40-49 / 4 Ribbons
  • 50-59 / 5 Ribbons
  • 60 / 6 Ribbons (as far as I know 60 is the level cap for a Planes walker)

Quick battle is for all intense purposes a 24  to 48 hour tournament to see who can gain the most Ribbons. At the end of the tournament your rank is rewarded (there are MANY tiers of ranks in “Quick Battle”. Rewards range from 250 runes up to 1000 runes, 25 crystals, and an “Origins big box” (a lot of random cards from the “Origins” game set).

I found Quick battle to be the most fun and it is what I spend the majority of my time in game doing. While the story mode is fun and I do it some, I am a competitive player, so I prefer the Quick battle ladder game play. There are many ways to add cards to your collection but if you are not paying this is the grind you must do. I have not spent a dime and I consistently place in the top 200 in Quick battle with my mediocre Jace / Blue control deck. My Chandra / fire deck is proving to be a colossal menace to anything it goes up against but I have yet to finish a Quick battle tourney with it, but I am in the top 200 with a 27 game win streak as of now. Needless to say it can be done if you have the time to put in.

The third game mode is the event system it would take too much time to explain them, but suffice it to say that you should be at least level 30 and have a pretty amazing deck for these events as they are the raiding scene of MTG Puzzle Quest. It’s fun when you have a good deck, when you don’t you are going to get pub stomped, so enter at your own risk.

Interface and Graphics

This section will honestly always be the least “wordy” and for good reason, it either works and has good graphics or it does not! So with that in mind I will put a 1-5 rating on both and then explain a bit. 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

Graphics: 5/5

The graphic are amazing for a mobile game. They are all smooth and fantastic and work in the MTG universe. There isn’t much else to say.

Interface: 4/5

The interface is understandable after about an hour of playing around with it, which isn’t long considering how much is packed into this game. It can be clunky at times, not registering taps, and registering them after the fact at times. Some of this could be my devices, but regardless 4/5 isn’t a bad place to be.

Level of fun

I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one, this game is FANTASTIC and I kind of wish they would make it for my PC (Yes I can emulate it but that’s not the point). This game is as addictive as all of the other MTG games I have played and I have currently put in at least 40 hours (yeah really) if that tells you how much fun I am having in it.

Content Quality

This will have to be updated as I have only been playing for around 2 months. I have not seen any real updates or sets added but that is to be expected for only playing 2 months. I will say that the Planes walkers that you can buy are on a rotation so if you consider that content it is updated regularly.

Compatibility

While it is a mobile only game and seems to work well on all of my mobile devices (Lenovo tablet / Samsung Note 5 / Samsung S7) it can be run on a PC as I hinted on earlier, with an android emulator my personal preference is Bluestacks but there are plenty of quality Android OS emulators out there. Be aware that emulating an OS is heavy on resources so please take this into consideration before installing as not all PC’s are capable of running one smooth. I also noticed a considerable difference in performance from Intel to AMD. My Intel i5 4690k overclocked at about 4.2Ghz runs it flawlessly, while my AMD A10 laptop will run it but a bit slower. I am not sure about AMD desktop CPU’s and would love to hear about it in the comments.

Replay ability

Really? This game has the ultimate amount of replay ability. I can’t see how a competitive CCG can get old, but that’s just my opinion! Try it out for yourself!

Android / iOS

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