Magic: The Gathering Manalink.
Microprose get Magic: The Gathering Players Connected at last

Magic: The Gathering (Manalink) Microprose

April 1998

Iíve just been trying out Microproseís latest improvement to itís excellent Magic: The Gathering computer game, Manalink. For those of you not in the know, M: TG is the PC version of a cult card game of the same name. Microproseís long awaited add-on allows you to duel with real people via the traditional link-up methods including the Internet, via a free account with on-line gaming company TEN. I donít know about you but this is what Iíve been waiting for ages now. (Incidentally, the prospect of being able to play Magic on my computer was the main reason I sold my Amiga and invested in a PC about 18 months ago). So, does it work is the most important question. YesÖ and no. You can get to play against real people, you can send them a taunting message (or just a "Hello" or "Where are you from"), you even get a real life DCI ranking, but and itís a big but, you (or your opponent) quite often lose your connection to TEN. I donít know if my experience is typical, but Iíve only got to actually finish about 50% of the 14 or so games Iíve started, due to this problem. This can be very annoying, but if you are the forgiving type, it can be a very rewarding experience. I suppose it may be due to in part, that TENís free subscriptions use low latency links which result in request timing-out and so on, as opposed to high-latency links used by its paying customers.

Magic: The Gathering was created by Richard Garfield and appeared in shops in 1993. Wizards of the Coasts (the gameís publishers) were bowled over by its phenomenal success, billions of cards have been printed in several different languages, and tournaments are held regularly, sometimes with large cash prizes at stake. It is more often played in cafes, bars and (here in England) in pubs. The shops that sell the cards themselves also act as meeting places for players to trade cards, talk about and play the game.

Update: I've noticed a few people coming to this page via the search engines, so just in case you don't know. Manalink has been superceded by Magic: Online. Tone.

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