Magic: ManaStrike Pre-Registration Is Now Open

Magic: The Gathering fans who are itching for an experience that isn’t using the actual cards or using the digital versions of actual cards in Arena are in luck. The new mobile game based on the franchise, Magic: ManaStrike, is now available for pre-registration. While a release date wasn’t given, pre-registration means the game should launch soon for both iOS and Android. When it does, those who pre-registered will get in-game prizes just for signing up early.

Magic: ManaStrike is the result of a partnership between Magic publisher Wizards of the Coast and veteran mobile game developer Netmarble. It’s billed as a “mobile combat game that brings spells inspired by Magic: The Gathering’s cards and characters to life in a new genre.” This “new genre” appears to be RTS based on gameplay video. Players are positioned on each side of the screen and summon creatures that move in a beeline to attack, clashing with one another until one side’s forces slip through.

The press release announcing pre-registration also gives some of ManaStrike’s story. It seems that iconic Magic: The Gathering villain Nicol Bolas started a war with the Planeswalkers that he lost. As he he plots his next move in a parallel universe, he summons the player. He tasks the player with staging battles using copies of the Planeswalkers so that he can study how they fight. Pretty impressive for a story made to justify why multiple players can all use the same characters.

Overall the game seems to be appealing to a more casual audience. Advertising keeps emphasizing how simple and fast-paced ManaStrike is, as if to appeal specifically to those who have never held a Magic card in their life. It wouldn’t be the first time a mobile game that focused on collecting characters acted as a gateway to an established franchise. Whether it works or not will depend on how fun ManaStrike ends up being.

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