With more and more things going digital, it makes sense that we’re seeing a rise in card games going digital, too. While there are awesome games out there that have originated in the digital space like Hearthstone, we’re seeing more and more of our favorite card games making the jump from a physical deck to a digital one. But which ones are worth the download, and which ones do a good job recapturing the fun of your favorite card game in the digital realm? Specifically, the digital realm of cell phones and tablets.
Is the app version of your favorite card game worth the data to download the game? I’ve pulled a few together that are definitely worth your time and downloading power.
Magic: The Gathering
MTG is one that is able to be played on all sorts of digital formats, but Magic for iOS and Android is an awesome gaming experience. With a tutorial and a single-player campaign, Magic: The Gathering on iOS and Android is a great gaming experience and great for new players. Of course, one of the key things for me in a good gaming app is how much money I’ll have to shell out to play the game. If I’m going to have to shell out a couple of bucks every time I play to get a good gaming experience, to me moving to digital isn’t worth it. While payment is different on your PC or your gaming console, Wizards of the Coast recently restructured the payment options on the game for iOS and Android. Now you can get the game for free as well as unlock more cards through play–though in-app purchases are still available.
Star Realms is another great game available for Android or iOS, and it is also free with in-app purchases. Much like the Magic: The Gathering game, Star Realms for Android or iOS can be extremely helpful when learning the game. When you download the app, you get access to basic campaigns and AI skirmishes without paying, giving you an incredibly rich gaming experience from the start. Of course, as you progress in the game and feel the need to challenge yourself, you get the option to unlock things like additional campaigns, AI skirmishes, and foes with in-app purchases.
Sorry, Android users. This one is only for iPad gamers, but it’s another freebie with in-app purchases. The Pokemon app for iPad captures that competitive yet easy-to-learn gameplay, and much like the physical card game itself, is great fun for adults and kids. With your initial, free download, you get access to starter decks and the ability to play against AI and human opponents. As you win, you unlock more decks and new cards. Of course you can pay to unlock things more quickly, and you can also customize your cards, deck boxes, avatars, and customize your own decks.
Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer
If you’ve never heard of Ascension, but like Magic: The Gathering, chances are you’ll love this game, too since Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Champions like Justin Gary and Rob Dougherty helped with the game’s initial design and development. Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer can be found on iOS or Android, and is free to download. Without any in-app purchases, you’ll get access to a tutorial, starter decks, AIs to play against, and asynchronous multiplayer. While you’ll have to shell out some cash to get access to expansion packs as you progress, you get a pretty broad gaming experience with your initial download.
One to watch: Dominion
We don’t know the story on this one quite yet, as it hasn’t officially been released for iOS and Android–according to their website, it’s coming soon though! However, the game has been available to play online for a while now. While there have been some problems with the Dominion the online game’s pricing, it is likely the Dominion app would be free to download with in-app purchases. Playing the game online was a solid gaming experience, so as long as the app’s charges don’t get too out of control, a Dominion gaming app could be an amazing addition to anyone’s smart phone or tablet.
What are some of your favorite card games that have been adapted to a mobile or digital format? Let me know your favorites in the comments!
Image credit: Magic: The Gathering/magic.wizards.com