Supercell is one of those developers that has to suffer its games being ripped off constantly. It’s one of a select few mobile developers that actually has the talent to create new experiences that innovate within the genre they exist in.

We’ve seen that with Clash of Clans, which was the first mobile game to really nail the RTS experience in a free to play format. This continued with Clash Royale, the card battler redesigned in a wonderfully visual new style that was very friendly to beginners, and culminated in Brawl Stars, the hero shooter made mobile friendly.

While having its games ripped off must be frustrating to Supercell, the developer has always been able to rest easy in the knowledge that the clones never really pose that much of a threat. Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Brawl Stars continue to dominate in their respective genres, with all competitors vanishing into dust within months of launching.

The point of our long-winded introduced is that this is the environment that Magic: ManaStrike is stepping into. It’s the latest in a long line of Clash Royale competitors, yet it’s the only one we’ve played yet that actually attempts to bring something new to the table, and we believe that actually puts it in good stead to make a dent in Clash Royale’s crown.

Magic: ManaStrike Attempts to Bring Something New to Clash Royale’s Table

Because, while the cartoon visuals may give this the appearance of another casual-friendly Clash competitor, it’s actually a heck of a lot deeper than we’re used to seeing, and that’s thanks, in large part, the excellent Magic IP that developer Netmarble had on hand to draw from.

For a start, you can pick one of a number of different Planeswalkers, which basically serve as extra powerful heroes that you can drop into the battlefield for free at any moment. Not only that, but each hero is attuned to one of the five colours of Mana: White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green.

Each colour has its own set of cards to play with, which provides a bunch of entirely unique playstyles. Of course, there are a wide variety of default cards too, that are shared between decks, so you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch if you decide to change Planeswalker.

Each of the Five Mana Types Have Their Own Unique

Not only that, but there are so many synergies on offer that extend beyond Clash Royale’s offerings. For example, we unlocked a card early on that would turn all nearby aerial cards aetherial, which makes enemy units unable to target them. So, off the cuff, we developed a new deck made up of mostly aerial units.

What impresses us most about Magic: ManaStrike is that it does a terrific job of bridging the gap between Clash Royale’s casual friendly approach and the deep and, quite frankly, dauntingly deep card battlers like Hearthstone. It gets you thinking about synergies and different deck types in a way that Clash Royale never did.

Whether it manages to beat Clash Royale at its own game remains to be seen, but we’re pleasantly surprised with Magic: ManaStrike. It offers the same casual friendly fun of Clash Royale but in a format that shares a lot of similarities with proper card games. As a result, it does a good job of bridging the gap between the two communities.

So if you’re a fan of Clash, Magic, or card battlers in general, we can easily recommend Magic: ManaStrike, as it scratches the itch for all three. And, even if you’re not, it’s well worth checking out because it serves as a great jumping off point.