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June 23, 2019

Review: Teenagers must ward off mischievous supernatural beings in Jinn

Supernatural creatures threaten a group of high school students in the new Netflix series Jinn.

A high school field trip to the ancient archaeological site of Petra turns tragic, and supernatural creatures are unleashed to prey on the living in Jinn, the first Arabic language original series from Netflix. Forget the Westernized concept of genies found in our popular culture, like Aladdin or I Dream of Jeannie. This series draws on more traditional Arabian/Islamic mythology for its portrayal of the jinn, and it’s all the richer for it.

(Mild spoilers below.)

Mira (Salma Malhas), a high school student in Amman, [...]

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June 23, 2019

It’s possible to build a Turing machine within Magic: The Gathering

Enlarge / Assemble just the right deck, and draw just the right cards, and you’ll get the equivalent of a universal Turing machine within the game, a new study finds. That makes it the most computationally complex real-world game yet known. (credit: Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images)

Consider this hypothetical scenario: Bob and Alice are playing a game of Magic: The Gathering. It’s normal game play at first, as, say, Filigree robots from Kaladesh face off against werewolves and vampires from Innistrad. But then Alice draws just the right card from her customized deck, and suddenly Bob finds himself [...]

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June 22, 2019

Jedi: Fallen Order hands-on: Finally, a solid EA Star Wars game⁠—is that enough?

Cal and BD-1 scope out upcoming danger. [credit: EA / Respawn ]

LOS ANGELES⁠—How much is a solid single-player Star Wars adventure game from EA worth in 2019?

That answer might have been different six years ago, when EA’s brand-new investment in the Star Wars universe had everyone wondering how epic its games would turn out. Since then, one huge project sputtered, then was outright canceled, while two Star Wars Battlefront reboots ranged from so-so to alarming.

Hence, at this point, you may breathe a sigh of relief to learn that this [...]

 
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June 22, 2019

Sorcerer’s greatest trick? Shrinking a CCG experience into a single box

Enlarge / From the animist deck. I hope you like spiders…

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.

Card battle games are a cornerstone of analog gaming. From the venerable Magic: The Gathering to the recently departed Android: Netrunner, their addictive blend of brainy strategy and beautiful artwork have brought millions of players to the table. Their other big draw? The potential for personalization—players can spend hours honing and perfecting their decks, tweaking tactics and hunting for powerful card [...]

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