Hello everyone! Tim here, otherwise known as Tchamber5 in the queues! Today, I wanted to review the state of Collectible Card Games on mobile platforms! If you are like me (a stay at home dad, who also has a part time job, and other commitments) or just have a lot on your plate or an active lifestyle, then you might not be able to sit down and commit any significant amount of time to a game if it’s on the PC. I have approached this problem by seeking out mobile games to play in smaller snippets, while I am on the go, or while my daughter is taking a nap. I have found that there are a ton of great CCGs on the market that are not only on mobile, but are super great games and (for the most part) won’t break the bank. In no particular order:
This is my bread and butter game. As a Magic player, I can’t get out to play in paper as much as I would like, and can’t reliably sit down to play on the PC. Eternal offers a similar level of deckbuilding and gameplay depth, though it has a good deal of its own unique mechanics to keep things fresh and interesting. Set 7, The Flame of Xulta, just got released, meaning that there are now over two-thousand different cards to collect and play with, as well as a really fun Draft mode where you get to keep the cards you draft. The game is also likely the most free-to-play game on the market, and is very generous with rewards, gold, and crafting material. Not to mention there is a World Championship coming up with a 50,000 dollar prize pool, and you can do it all from your phone.
This is the new kid on the block, but it’s already making some serious waves. A lot of streamers have picked up the game and like it quite a lot. The board states can get really complicated but it’s a very pleasant mix of The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Hearthstone, and Magic. As someone who has played the game all the way from alpha through where it is now in open beta, I can say that the game has not only been finding its rhythm in terms of gameplay and mechanics, but also the system, graphics, and general under-the-hood stuff has tightened up so much. It was a little choppy in alpha, but now it’s such a smooth experience that it’s a little too easy to get lost in the game and play for hours and forget to eat lunch. Or is that just me?
3. The Elder Scrolls: Legends
This game was actually originally designed by Direwolf Digital (Same as the folks at Eternal), but switched gears and was brought back to Bethesda. It’s still a fantastic game and has some really unique mechanics. This is the first card game that I know of that utilized a lane system for deploying your units, and it provides an additional layer of strategy when making your plays. It’s also just a beautiful game and plays very smoothly. The rewards are pretty generous and it’s very viable to get into the game without spending much money at all. In fact, you get rewards just for logging in every day.
This game is surprisingly under the radar in the United States, though is apparently quite popular in various Asian nations. This one also holds a special place in my heart because my wife, who normally does not play a lot of card games, is the one who stumbled across this and pulled me in. I have always really liked anime, so I was really ecstatic about the art style, and the animations look quite smooth. Mechanics wise, it plays out relatively similar to Hearthstone with many distinct classes and abilities, though what really sets it apart is the Evolve mechanic that upgrades your units into more powerful versions of themselves that often have game changing effects attached to them. Another thing that kept me coming back to this one was the “Pick Two” game mode that my wife and I could play together. The mode resembles a stripped down draft in which you are presented with two separate pairs of cards, and you pick one from each to build your deck from (then you repeat this process many more times). Overall, there are several fun ways to play, and it also has a thriving tournament scene, so it comes out as one of my favorites.
I’m cheating a little bit here because Gwent is not actually released on mobile, but is slated to come out at the end of this month, and I am very excited. Not only is the rewards system very generous, but the gameplay is different than any other card game on the market. This isn't to say that you can’t take your learned theory from other card games and throw it out the window, because the strategic depth in gwent is still very much present.
I think that it is truly amazing how far Mobile games have come in the last few years, and it’s honestly quite a relief to be able to play a game competitively with such a busy lifestyle.
Hopefully this list has helped you find a game that you love!
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