Magic: ManaStrike

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Magic: ManaStrike App Poster Image
Strategy, action, and fantasy collide in amazing card game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game can be played by simply mashing buttons on screen, but to learn the nuances of play takes some time. 

Violence

Lots of on-screen battles, but no explicit violence. 

Sex

Female characters wear cleavage-baring garments. 

Language
Consumerism

The game offers the chance to purchase new cards and other in-game products for real-world cash. Based on a wildly popular card game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Magic: ManaStrike is an action card game for iOS and Android devices based on the popular franchise. Players battle other players, but there's no in-game communication between opponents. There's mild violence, but nothing parents need to worry about - no blood, no real-world weapons, and no one is shown hurt. The game promotes strategic thinking, but it's accessible to beginners. And while there are in-app purchases, they're not required to make progress. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

In MAGIC: MANASTRIKE, players put together a deck of cards, consisting of one Planeswalker (a hero of the original series) and seven other creatures or spells, each with its own strength. In battles, mana builds slowly over time, which regulates which card you can play (each requires a set amount, with stronger characters/spells needing more). Each of the Planeswalkers has a more powerful ability that can work alongside with the other cards. The goal of the three-minute match is to defeat the sub-Guardians of your opponent or, preferably, the larger Guardian, which ends the match. In the final minute of the match, mana recharges at a faster rate, allowing for more frenetic gameplay. While there's a narrative introduction, there's no storyline that continues through the game. 

Is it any good?

While it exists in a separate pocket universe outside of the typical Magic: The Gathering one, this strategy game knows its audience well. Magic: Manastrike is bite-sized, challenging (but not too difficult) and lets you compete against other humans, without having to deal with the hassle of people that like to give you grief online. It's a colorful, action packed game that shakes up the rules just enough to make it interesting (limiting your deck makes you think more about the cards you play). Players who take the time to learn the cards can find a nuanced game, but newcomers who don't want to bother with the intricacies of the various spells and creatures can essentially button-mash and play cards as quickly as possible and still have a chance at victory. The game isn't especially deep, though. It's repetitive and more focused on one specific style of play, which eliminates a lot of the strategy that the classic card game came with. If the fast-paced nature ofthe game action grabs you, you won't care about how different and radically new the gameplay happens to be. But if the rapid play style of Magic: Manastrike doesn't appeal to you, you'll get bored fast. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the value of learning a skill versus randomly trying approaches until something works. Can you apply this to your time of playing Magic: Manastrike? Do you think you'd have more success with one method over another?

  • Does the game seem more fun when you imagine yourself in the fictional world? 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: July 16, 2020
  • Category: Card Games
  • Size: 302.00 MB
  • Publisher: Netmarble Games Corp.
  • Version: 1.6.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Requires Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: August 3, 2020

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