The best card games on Android and iOS

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The best card games on Android and iOS

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Modern digital card games combine the cerebral appeal of tactical play with the adrenaline rush of random loot and upper deck. It may seem like they are thirteen in a dozen, but the games described below are all absolutely worth it, judged on their own terms.

Some are killing tests of supremacy, others are bucolic come-as-you-can-types, but all are thoughtful and ingenious in different ways. There are two flavors of card games that currently dominate the niche: highly competitive TCG / CCG multiplayer battles derived from Hearthstone, and more cerebral or informal issues, often translated from physical card games that already exist. We have merged the two types into one ultimate list.

New mobile card games

We are told about new games that we need to consider regularly, so until we evaluate them properly, we keep new releases here as an ‘FYI’:

  • Mythgard (Beta)
  • Maze Machina

What are the best iOS and Android card games?

  • Gwent
  • Age of rivals
  • Shards of infinity
  • Miracle Merchant
  • Meteorfall: Journey
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones
  • fire plate
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes
  • frost
  • Card City Nights
  • Star kingdoms

GWENT

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Developer: CD Project S.A.
platforms: iOS
Price: Free to play (IAPs)

It took a lot of time, but the official spin-off of the card game The Witcher 3 has finally made the leap from PC to iOS. It is very different from what it was at the launch and it has undergone several updates and revisions, which means that we mobile jockeys get a game that is sleek and quite unique compared to some of its contemporaries. It’s a power struggle between two people, but it’s less about stamping each other’s cards into dust or attacking life points – it’s just a best-of-three fight to have a larger number than your opponent at the end of the round .

This simple concept can be surprising for cunning and card combinations, where card discount is a very important concept. As a free to play game, there are IAPS and micro-transactions, but for the most part it is fairly tame and you can still access many cards through gameplay. A potential disadvantage is that the meta can shift considerably, so knowing which tickets to buy can be problematic. Yet this is a pretty great card game and a wonderful relief for the mobile CCG market. View our GWENT tips guide if you want to help get started.

Age of rivals

Developer: Roboto Games
platforms: iOS & Android
Price: $ 1.99

Everyone has been guessing how we have forgotten this for so long, but we have now solved it. This strategy card game was released in 2017 and draws a lot of inspiration from physical design, but is very much a digital game. It is more set up than building a deck, with five phases repeated in four rounds and a game can only last ten minutes.

It’s minimalist, but with a touch of flair as you try to put together specific themes and build your board as the game progresses. Although it was in a bit of a state when it was first launched, in the years since its release it has become an excellent game worth watching if you want to take a break from building a deck, but still loves that creativity that comes from what you draw. View our Age of Rivals review for more.

Shards of infinity

Developer: Temple Gates Games
platforms: iOS and Android
Price: $ 7.99

Ascension is a house name in card games for building cards, especially on mobile devices. While Playdek was responsible for bringing that light into our world, Temple Gates Games have the honor to bring Ascension’s spiritual successor to mobile – and it is one of the best card games we’ve played so far. The game itself is smooth, well-designed and has some very interesting twists in the formula for building the deck. This is not an Ascension with a new skin, but a new game in itself.

As for the app, Temple Gates has done an excellent job. The game is colorful and brought to life with very few technical worries. Everything is platform independent and multiplayer has been designed competently. If you’re looking for a new card game to keep you busy in 2019, look no further and our Shards of Infinity review can tell you why.

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Mystic Vale (iOS | Android) (Review) – Mystic Vale, a game very similar to Shards, is another deckbuilding game that uses the same starting point, but with a different theme and a different twist to the usual procedures. This is developed by Nomad Games, and while it’s fun in its own way, it doesn’t shake up the genre as much as it needs to really stand out.

Miracle Merchant

Developer: Arnold Rauers
Platforms: iOS & Android
Price: $ 1.99 / Free with IAP

The card thief of Tinytouchtales has been on the list since its foundation, but there are other great card games that the developer has made. Their most recent release was Miracle Merchant, a game about trying to make drinks for customers who need a remedy or other liquid solution. You have to juggle the competitive but equally important needs to satisfy customers (by brewing exactly what they asked for) and maximize profits (because making drinks is expensive and that Porsche does not pay for itself).

Miracle Merchant is solitaire card gaming at its best. The art style is impeccable and the tactical decision making is incredibly deep. Composing a four-card drink sounds simple, but actually with negative cards to consider, and the fact that if you don’t make a drink, you lose the game, you must choose and choose your battles in terms of how “good” you are must make the drinks for customers, especially considering that you also have to maximize profits. Read our Miracle Merchant review for more.

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TinyTouchTales has played many great card games, from Card Thief and Card Crawl to Potion Explosion.

Meteorfall: Journey

Developer: Slothwerks
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: $ 2.99

Challenging and stimulating: in the happier sessions, Meteorfall ends with a successful final confrontation with the appropriately named Uberlich. Working backwards from that ultimate battle to the four starting characters is much more challenging than the squidy art and light-hearted interface suggest.

This is a game that was beautifully supported after the release, with several important content extensions at the time of writing. What’s even better, it’s all given away for free! There is a reason why this has won our Reader’s Choice Game of the Year 2018 prize and our Meteorfall review can tell you why.

Reigns: Game of Thrones

Developer: Devolver Digital
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: $ 3.99

The Pinnacle: The meme / phrase “living your best life” is not often applied to a video game, but we cannot think of a title that is more appropriate than the licensed Game of Thrones version of Nerial from their hit card / monarch simulator Reigns. As Brittany states in its review, this is without a doubt the best version of the Reigns formula and it helps to include an attractive and popular IP address.

The typical Tinder-style sweep mechanism in combination with the usual medieval hilarity and difficult choices is linked to some subtle new twists, in which players try to rule the Seven Kingdoms as one of the nine iconic characters from the show (who become over time) unlocked). All of this is made possible by Melisandre’s guise – you essentially play her visions of how these characters might end up on top of the iron throne. Licensed games often get a bad rap, but they can now watch this game to wash away all their sins. This is how you do it, people. Read our Reigns: Game of Thrones review for more.

fire plate

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free (IAPs)

The gold standard: stop me if you’ve heard it before: a villain, a priest and a warrior walk into the bar. Players struggle to reduce the opponent’s life to zero as players get more mana (read: energy) to feed stronger minions and devastating spells. Dropping the power curve and the rarity are a bit punitive, but later expansions and patches have somewhat remedied this. The card battles of Hearthstone unfold on a tavern table, in the middle of the hub bub and the cheerfulness of a chaotic Warcraft scene, usually told in a dwarf brogue.

Yes, the card game itself is solid and as stripped as it can be without being simplistic, but Hearthstone flashes of creative genius and setting go far beyond the card base. The animations and the sound design are polished to a mirror shine, and the gameplay, love it or hate it, is the standard because of the excellent quality and undeniable fun factor. Don’t worry about the meta or top competition, because then the grind will eat your life.

Exploding Kittens

Developer: Exploding Kittens
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: $ 1.99

Outrageous fun: a game of hot potato with a cat soaked with nitroglycerin escalates until every player except one has met his maker. Fiery kitty death and simple humor are ashamed of a take-that game that immediately takes everyone’s throat. Hostility and sabotage are the name of the game because each player has only one life and one harmless card to prevent that hairball from becoming a fireball.

The game is a childish, cartoon-like pastiche of the obvious joke that was too often made too difficult, but despite the unapologetic unrefined everything, it remains one of the best guilty mindless pleasures out there. If you ever need a reason to foam your mouth and throw spit at your fellow humans about fictionally threatening cats, look no further: Exploding Kittens is just an excuse to have a good time, a cheeky excuse. Annoying, shameless and perfectly basic.

Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes

Developer: Electronic art
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free (IAPs)

Food for thought: this franchise has reinvented itself several times since the original’s first success. The sequel to the tower defense titan dallied with free-to-play energy timers and premium unlocking, after which the series experimented with the FPS arena shooter and released Garden Warfare. Along the way, part of the magic and charm was lost. Plants vs. Zombies Heroes is an inspired and refreshing late access to the game series, which translates the original tower defense themes into a CCG with some useful changes. Perhaps the coolest single characteristic feature of PvZ: Heroes is the asymmetry: one player represents the zombies that move forward for a quick bite, while the other coordinates the plants that fight to ward off the undead.

The power dynamics between the two sides is unusual and distinctive and evokes Netrunner more than Magic or Hearthstone. The flow of new cards in enthusiastic little hands of players, the balance between card strengths and their relative availability, as well as the overall strategic robustness of the game are all top. This core gameplay shines together with the visual shine and jazzy flair for which the series has become known. Plants vs. Zombies Heroes is a fun late entry that deserves more love.

frost

Developer: Jerome Bodin
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: $ 3.99, $ 4.49

An always green choice: it distinguishes itself on two fronts from the other members of this list. Firstly because of the palette, which is just as frigid as black and white as you would expect. Secondly, because the gameplay is based on survival, not only thematically, but actually. Collect supplies, ward off nasties and keep the elements at bay, take every possible trick the cards give you. Better performance provides better tools, but unlike other games, Frost’s best rewards are a sense of security and temporary rest.

In other words, in the game you will not follow an exciting high score or excitement, but rather avert the unwanted. Loss aversion, the fear of breaking a fragile balance, the game that challenges you to take the right risks only when the sentence is a hollow oxymoron. The game rewards you with the chance to keep playing, to explore the grim dangers and the tricks. Read our Frost review for more.

Card City Nights

Developer: Ludosity
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: $ 0.99

Solid solo play: the characters are quirky, the game-in-a-game generates a bit cheeky yet refreshing, the consistent tone of humor-like, deadpan. By defeating certain keystone characters, their characteristic, ultra-powerful cards are unlocked, the effects of which even match the personality of that character. In other words, there is a correspondence between writing, characterization and deck archetypes between. Never a really tempting good time or harassing head-scratcher, deck building and gathering (yes, there are boosters, nothing is really ultra-rare) from Card City Nights provides an easily enjoyed and easily binged experience.

Star kingdoms

Developer: White Wizard Games
platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free, with content as IAP ($ 4.99 for the full set)

Interstellar Deck-Building: this game combines the level of expansion and adaptation of a TCG with the bite-sized decision making of a deckbuilder. The combat elements and faction-specific combos provide a serious nostalgia trip for those who want to visit the memory strip without first having to collect, collect and process a custom deck especially for the occasion. The many extensions, fast gameplay and clear iconography of Star Realms make it an attractive addition to the roster of the game enthusiast and an easy must-have.

We have a Star Realms review if you want to know more.

Other recommendations for card and iOS games

We currently keep the list fairly tight, but there are many more than twelve card games to celebrate, with more and more on the road. Every now and then we run games for other games, but we don’t want those greats from the past to be forgotten:

What does your list with the best card games look like? Let us know in the comments!

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