"HEX: Shards of Fate" is a game where two players face off against each other playing actions, creatures and artifacts all in an attempt to bring each other's life total from 10 to zero. You start the game with a 60-card deck, draw seven cards, and play begins. You use resources such as mana (which you're only allowed to play once per turn) in order to call forth creatures and other useful items you'll need to defeat your opponent. Doesn't this all sound like a great game? For Wizards of the Coast, it sounded just like "Magic: The Gathering."
Today, May 13, Wizards of the Coast announced via their website, that they will be filing a lawsuit against Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment "for willful infringement of intellectual property rights."According to the press release, Wizards of the Coast is claiming that the game, "Hex: Shards of Fate," is a clone of "Magic: The Gathering" as well as "Magic Online" and "Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers." "The suit includes claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement."
The two games have a lot in common. From a video "How to play" published by Cryptozoic, the overlay of the digital play area looks extremely similar to that of "Duels of the Planeswalker." Even the user interface is very similar, right down to the player icons. The game also has five magical colors which they call "Wild," "Blood," "Ruby," "Diamond," and "Sapphire." These are the same colors "Magic: The Gathering" uses which are Green, Black, Red, White, and Blue.
There is not a lot that the game has to offer that separates it from others. Of course this can be said for a lot of games out there. However, there is a reason they are not being sued. Take "SolForge" for example. The concept of that game is the same as "Magic." You have to bring your opponent's life total down to zero using spells and creatures that you summon.
However, "Solforge" has many things about it that can easily separate itself from "Magic." For example their combat system relies on a lane system. Creatures are summoned into one of five different lanes and can only attack creatures opposite of them in their lane. "Solforge" also doesn't use a resource system. Meaning, spells and creatures come into play for free.
Another popular digital card game is "Might and Magic: Duel of Champions." While there are mechanics that are similar to "Magic," those that make it different really separate it from other games. A really unique mechanic is the resource system. In fact, in a recent interview with Community Manager, Jason "Paradise," players who have played "Magic" have told him that they find the "Duel of Champion" resource system better. There are only three types of resources and, as the game progresses, players much choose which one to level each turn. Additionally, they can only level one resource per turn.
There is a lot to say about how "Hex" and "Magic" are similar and not much to say how they are different. Have you played both games? If you have, what's your take on this latest development? Let us know in the comment section below.