5 Best Mobile Card Games

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Mobile card games are all the rage these days, with old and new games for any and everybody.

But this craze isn't new -- their forefathers, collectible card games, were an even bigger phenomenon in the 1990's with the rise of Wizards of the Coast and Magic: The Gathering.  The trend cooled off in the late 1990's before a resurgence in the 200's with the introduction of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! to mainstream popularity. Then CCGs went from physical to digital with the rise of franchise games from Blizzard and Wizards of the Coast.  

And now, we're seeing games like The Elder Scrolls: Legends pushing the bounds of card game mechanics and bringing the beloved world of Elder Scrolls to a new format. This card game sets itself apart from its peers by using field lanes, minion trades, and board building in two different gameplay modes. 

What other mobile card games are doing something different from the CCGs of yore? The next few slides will highlight five games that are breaking the mold, which definitely makes them worth your time. 

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

As previously mentioned, This latest entry in the beloved World of Warcraft series allows two players to take the strategies and tactics of the original game, but in the form of a card game. Each player tries to reduce the other's life in a quest for gold, rewards and other prizes.

Hearthstone is championed for its simplicity, gameplay, and attention to detail, but major emphasis was placed on the feel of a traditional card game and the lack of interference during a player's turn (things that plague other mobile games).

The game is so popular that it has spawned an annual worldwide tournament, in which the best of the best compete for prize money. 

Clash Royale

Much like Hearthstone, Clash Royale is based on an ever-popular gaming series -- Clash of Clans. The game combines three game genres -- collectible cards, tower defense, and multiplayer battle arena -- in an extravaganza of strategy as players destroy each other's towers and collect trophies to move up the arena food chain. As the game progresses, players can enter tournaments and become members of leagues with other players. 

Clash Royale has received praise from critics and fans alike for its easy gameplay, graphics, and fast-paced action.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links

Based on the beloved anime series, Yu-Gi-Oh!, players take on the roles of Yami Yugi or Seto Kaiba in order to duel other players in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links. As players move forward, characters from the series can be unlocked, which leads to more competitions in the virtual "Duel World".

The game grabs old fans and newcomers with its accessibility and simplification of traditional card game rules (like the original Yu-Gi-Oh! card game). It even goes as far as having the original voice actors voice the characters.

Exploding Kittens 

Evolving from the crowdfunded original card game, Exploding Kittens, the mobile version allows multiple players to draw cards until they draw an Exploding Kitten, causing them to explode and lose the game. Players can have as many or as few cards as possible during their turn, but they must end their turn by drawing a card. 

This version adds new content and mobile-exclusive card types to the game while allowing cross-platform play between all mobile versions.

Reigns

Building on the swiping concept of Tinder, Reigns places the player as a monarch who rules his kingdom by accepting or rejecting advisors' suggestions through playing cards. These decisions trigger ripple effects through the four society pillars -- the commoners, the church, the military, and the royalty -- by way of events. 

The game's simple control scheme and use of strategy are seen as refreshing compared to other mobile card games.

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Each of these mobile card games has its own charm that sets them apart from other mobile games. But these are just the tip of the iceberg, as these types of games are proliferating fast in the mobile marketplace. What are your favorite mobile card games? Let me know in the comments!

Published Jun. 10th 2017

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