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Bryan Johnson
United States
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This game plays very similar to Magic: the Gathering, but in a very simplified manner. There are no timing issues since you can only play cards during our own turn, and your creatures may ony attack one at a time. Your object is to break all of your opponents' shields and attack him one more time succesfully with one of your creatures.

Your deck consists of spells and creatures that come into play by paying a mana cost associated with it. The mana cost is shown in the upper left hand side of the card. Unlike Magic, you do not draw mana from land cards. In Duel Masters, all spell and creature cards may instead serve as mana by placing the card upside down in your mana zone.

Before the game starts, you and your opponent(s) place the top 5 cards of your deck face-down in front of you that will serve as your shields. When attacking with your creatures, you may choose to either attack a tapped creature belonging to your opponent, or one of his shields. Creatures become tapped when they attack, as in M:TG. Any attack on a shield will destroy it, and the card that represented that shield now goes to the owners hand. When all your opponents shields have been destroyed, one more attack by any creature will eliminate him from the game.
 
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Rick Schwartz
United States
Crete
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Re:User Review
SwedeLad (#29853),
Would have liked to read a pros and cons about the
nitty-gritty at the heart of the game. Rules are pretty
much explained on the website, so the studious gamer does
not gain much here. There's something to be said for the
down-to-earth, straightforwardness of the mechanics, which
get almost too complicated in 'Magic' and others. This
appears better than just a kids game, if you feel the
pulse under the clothing.
 
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Mike Fitzgerald
United States
Lafayette
Colorado
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Re:User Review
sitdownsmith (#30232),
I love this game. I had the chance to play it during its developement when I was working for WOTC over 3 years ago. They spent a long time making it and it has already been out in Japan for over 2 years.
It is lighter than Magic but plenty deep enough for me- the attacking one at a time with your creatures sets up some interesting tactics. The game is more skill based since the mana curve is equal with each card being able to be used for mana. No need to keep track of anyting and I love the shield triggers - they offer some fun and Oh Wows in the game.

Mike Fitzgerald
 
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Nasty McHaggis
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
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Re:User Review
sitdownsmith (#30232),

The relative simplicity of rules and straightforward gameplay certainly makes Duel Masters more accessible to WotC's target demographic. I taught my 7 year old son the basics of Magic using starter deck cards (he's crazy about Pokemon, I am NOT). While he got the hang of turn phases and timing, the more subtle strategies made possible by the variety of choices were lost on him.

Duel Masters is definitely something he can grasp easily, however, without getting bogged down with complex rules, like in Magic. Once the cartoon hits and DM gets the full exposure planned for it by WotC, I'm sure that interest will only increase.

Personally, I get bored playing this game as is. The rulebook drops a few hints about more complex mechanics being added to the game with future expansions; but for now it seems to lack a certain depth.

As I play, one thing keeps coming to mind: gameplay would be more exciting if there were some way of countering your opponents' spells and creatures. More opportunities to play cards against your opponent when it's not your turn would inject an element of suspense in the game.

Here's my summary of PROS and CONS:

PROS:

The basic rules of play are relatively simple, making it a great game to sit down and play with kids.

The cards look GREAT, the artwork looks GREAT.

The rules of attack are very cool: creatures attack one at a time which leads to some interesting decisionmaking by both attacker and defender.

CONS:

In its current state, the game seems a bit too one-dimensional to keep the interest of older players. Maybe future expansion will add mechanics that make the game more dynamic.


 
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Bryan Johnson
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Re:User Review
sitdownsmith (#30232),
Hi Rick, sorry about that. LOL. Here are my Pros an Cons:

Pros:
1. Very easy to learn. Basic mechanics can be picked up easily even by young players.
2. Nice artwork. Hard to believe it's Japanese.
3. Plays very well with no confusion or rules arguments.
4. Plays quickly. Most games are finished within 20 minutes or so.
5. Room for growth. There will be more features and surprises in store for this game in the future which should add new dimensions and strategies.

Cons:
1. At the moment it's still a little one-dimensional, but I suspect this may not be a problem with future expansions.
2. I think kids are the target demographic for this game. It's not that adults can't enjoy it too, it is just very simple in every way. All creatures have just a single power number (heck, even Yu-Gi-Oh uses attack AND defense numbers individually). I can just see the Magic : TG die-hards ripping this game.
3. It is JUST enough like Magic to make me a little uncomfortable.

Anyway, I hope that helps. In reality though, it is a decent enough game. It has impressed me on a few occasions and we had a couple of surprise endings as well. My son (11 years old at the time of this writing) really loves this game, so I think it appeals a great deal to kids around his age. Of all the games my son asks me to play with him, I have to say that this is one of the easier ones to say "yes" to. Good game overall.



 
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Rob Osborn
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Re:User Review
SwedeLad (#29853),

I've never played Magic, but this seems very similar to Yu-Gi-Oh.

Is this the case

Cheers

Rob
 
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Bryan Johnson
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Re:User Review
robosb (#56720),

I'm sorry that I can't answer that. I have never played Yu-Gi-Oh.


 
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