Magic Puzzle Quest (& Marvel Puzzle Quest)

Ooooh, a new Puzzle Quest!  And it's a blend of Magic: The Gathering (ie MTG) and Puzzle Quest! Made by D3 (makers of Marvel Puzzle Quest) & Wizards of the Coast!  What could go wrong?

This was my thought as I dloaded Magic PQ, somewhat concerned that it might affect my addictive daily playing of Marvel PQ.  Well, I now doubt that, despite the fact that I think Magic PQ is a 3-4* game on track to be a 5* game.  But Marvel PQ already is a 4* game, IMO.

The Good:
Lots of Plainswalkers, lots of cards.  Deck building mechanic.  CCG.  Strategic play.  Looks very nice.

The Bad:
10 card decks?!?  Really?  Meh!  Plainswalkers get first weak power at Lvl 2, next at Lvl 14?!?  Tiles in match-3 game look very similar (esp Blue & Black), esp when a 'support tile' is in play.  While art looks great, not much animation here.  Lots of cards, but can be hard to know what's going on, and I haven't found a 'recap' / log button to see what opponent's action was.  And lastly -- this is an F2P game w/2 currencies, and despite getting both just by playing, clearly the emph is on spending real money for premium currency to buy boosters.  (And I won't be spending anything, most likely.)

My Tips/Tricks:
I'm a newb, but I'm a veteran MTG & Marvel PQ player.  I will likely update these as I play more.

1 - Spend your currency well.  I dropped 50 crystals (premium) to add all Planeswalkers (PW's).  Rationale: the game is new, and I can see their costs soon jumping.  Also, when new PW's arrive, I'm sure they will also cost.  And for deck building, you can't play cards that don't share a color w/your PW.  I like Green, but also like 'em all.

2 - Get an early booster or two, but then start saving for the rates.  I didn't want all my cards to be 'standard', but my first 2 boosters didn't offere much of anything interesting.  Oh well.

3 - UI Tips:
3a - Deck design is on the Planeswalkers menu.  And, if you are new to Magic, there's a Quick Update option which has the AI do it all for you.  You can also empty  your deck and it will autobuild for you. Not bad!
3b - Support Tiles - to distinguish between your Support Tiles & opponent's in play, the counter will be on that player's side.  The color is the color of the glow (this took me forever to figure out).

4 - During play, check your hand frequently (ie every round!) & strategically rearrange cards.  Also don't forget to use your PW's powers, even if they suck.  And don't mana-charge up Support Cards that need creatures w/o 1-2 creatures in play.

I wish I had more tips, but if you post yours I will happily include them here (on my Apps review blog, AppsWrap -- (and in my gameplay!!).
Thanks!  Happy Holidays!

Star Wars -- didn't the Empire win 'IRL'?

I've been elated, like many USA citizens, about the revival of the Star Wars films by a talented organization.

I'm very excited that the new material will bring a revival of amazing sci-fi films with depth, range, scope, and an ability to reflect back on our society in many ways.

But it certainly strikes a strange chord to watch the rebirth of the "Empire vs Rebellion" scenario in 2015 as a 40 something worker who is essentially disenfranchised, currently unable to gain full-time employment (and still collecting unemployment benefits), and barely making things work financially.  And we, the bottom class of USA, are supposed to be doing so much better than so much of the rest of the world!

So my point is -- it certainly seems like The Empire has won, and the various Rebellions that exist have next to no power.

Empire = billionaires, military industrial complex, big pharma, media conglomerates, Oil & Nuclear Power, medical insurance industries, GM foods, & animal slaughter industries -- or to encapsulate (but generalize), The Evil Empire.  Includes CIA, NSA, and contractor mercenary forces.

Rebellion -- there are so many, but a quick survey includes:
Social dissidents within the system: ie Thrashers, Punks, most Left-Wing Activists (ie environmentalists, whistle blowers/leakers), Right Wing Christian survivalists, radical artists, gender issue activists, and political radicals.
Social dissidents outside the system: 3rd World Activists, Native American People, ultra-poor & derelicts & homeless, (slave/exploited) 'labor pool' countries, many ex-convicts, illegal immigrants & migrant workers, and anti-capitalists.
Combatants with Empire: radical Islamic Jyhadists, fake terrorists / false flag war provocateurs, and assorted lunatics & fringe groups.

(So this is one reason I see Bernie Sanders as a ray of hope.  He's technically a social dissidents within the system, but his foundation position is pro-people rather than pro-empire.)

Thus, the Star Wars "Rebellions vs Empire" which is now produced by the Hollywood Empire (Disney) & likely unable to articulate any relevant message about rising up against oppression.

I bet I will like it anyway, but at Star Wars' core is the concept of radical uprising, self-empowerment, and mysticism beating the White man's world of techno fetishism.