The name, Duels of the Planeswalkers first arose in 1997. It was a very popular and collectible card game. I never had chance to play it, but since it arrived in digital form, over Xbox Live Arcade, I have been interested in checking it out. DOTP 13 is the first in the series that i've played, and I wasn't sure whether it would be kind to newcomers. Anyone who knows all the ins and outs to the game, DOTP 13 should be quick to pick up. For newcomers, like me, it will look very confusing at first. It's a very deep card game, but thankfuly, there's a well illustrated tutorial that will guide you through the basics.
The core gameplay focuses on two players, also known as Planeswalkers. Both, you and your opponent has a deck of cards, which contain land and spells. Land is used to produce mana, which is the resource to cast your spells. There's a veriaty of different spells, and they all do something different. Fo example, one spell can summon a creature to defend you, or attack your opponent. The objective is to cycle through the deck of cards, taking in turns, and trying to get your opponents health to zero before yours.
You get a chance to do this in the tutorial, but it doesn't mean you will become a master overnight. A lot of time and detication is needed before you learn how to play properly. My time spent playing DOTP has been interesting. I've learnt the basics, but I still find it hard. What makes the game tough is the cards itself. You need to learn what each card means, and what it does. If you don't, it's pritty much game over.
Whilst DOTP 13 will help beginners to the series, it doesn't mean the loyal fans will be left out. There's enought to satify those who have played the previous two versions. It is just as challenging in it's puzzles as it was before. Nothing much has changed, but there are some new elements. There's a new deck of cards, and a new four-player mode called Planechase, which randomises the rules throughout the game.
Overall, DOTP 13 is a worthy title to the series. If your a fan, or a newcomer that is interested in playing, this will be well worth your time and money.
Review by Gareth Smith