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My Weekend With MicroProse’s 1997 Magic The Gathering Game

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I was an avid Magic: The Gathering fan since the day it released.  While I jumped in at the tail end of Unlimited, the first run of the game, my friends and I really jumped in at the Revised edition that combined a majority of the core Unlimited set and integrated the then two expansions Arabian Nights and Antiquities.  If you are a Magic: The Gathering first release player, the most intriguing, powerful, and expensive cards exist in the pre-Revised era.  This is why when Microprose released Magic: The Gathering game in April of 1997, which was based purely on the Unlimited set, my friends and I were ecstatic.  Couple that with the reduced price update, Spells of the Ancients, that added Arabian Nights and Antiquities in September 1997, we all had nostalgia for a game that was only about 4 years old.  I think the biggest factor is the what Magic: The Gathering is – a card-based game that lives and dies by the introduction of new sets and consistently selling cards to players – and the fact that these early power cards were super expensive and we all wanted a way to play with them, that I instantly migrated over.  Furthermore, it was the first true Magic: The Gathering video game (all other attempts were other types of games with M:TG skins) that gave you everything you wanted: deck construction, online play, tournaments, and even a pseudo-RPG called Shandalar.  It’s now available to play on modern systems, and free (provided you are willing to skate legalities), and I had a chance to jump back into one of my favorite high school PC games.  For those not familiar with Magic: The Gathering, the next portion of this article is a brief history and explanation of the game (not how to play), but if you’re familiar, feel free to skip to the game section that follows.

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Written by Fred Rojas

January 25, 2016 at 11:00 am