The 6 Best App Card Games to Play
There are plenty of reasons to love card-based app games. They tend to require minimal specs so they can be played without the latest phone or tablet. They can often be played offline. Their gameplay is designed around strategy, not high-end graphics, so you’re not hampered by the use of a smaller screen. And, of course, app card games are highly addictive in all the right ways.
Some of these amazing app card games are remakes of classics, some are standalone games that have achieved meteoric esports success, and some are spin-offs of minigames in other blockbuster titles that have become just as successful as the originals.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
It’s been a long time since the die-hard fans of Andrzej Sapkowski‘s Witcher fantasy novels first fell in love with Geralt and friends. Since then, there has been a trio of blockbuster RPGs, AR mobile spinoffs, all-star Netflix reboots, and more award ceremonies than Will Smith could slap away in a lifetime.
For many, your humble writer included, one of the best parts of The Witcher is Gwent. A collectible card game born of the main PC and Console RPGs then reborn as an incredible independent app card game.
Gwent requires the collection of an army, represented by distinct faction-based decks. Pre-battle, players must choose their playdeck from their total deck, then they battle it out against their opponent’s selection. Weather cards, leader cards, heroes, and more play a crucial role when laying out formations of CQB, ranged, and artillery cards.
With matches won over a series of three rounds, much of the strategy around Gwent revolves around knowing what to sacrifice and when. With stunning designs and battling animations, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game app involves all the fun of Pokemon card collection with all the thrills of a poker match.
While we’re on the topic of app card games based-off blockbuster RPGs, few have achieved such mind-numbing success as Hearthstone. Since its launch in 2014, Hearthstone has dominated the app gaming charts. Blizzard first released this award-winning digital collectible card game under the name Heroes of Warcraft. It speaks wonders about the game’s success that it became so popular that Blizzard ditched the moniker that most easily identified it with their own most famous IP World of Warcraft.
While Hearthstone uses the popular lore and characters of WoW, the fact it has achieved independent success is beyond question. Huge numbers of its players will never have played the MMORPG it spawned from, but were instead drawn to its amazing animations, stunning cut-scenes, humorous trailers, comical sound effects, and constantly shifting backgrounds.
Hearthstone could safely be filed under those types of games that are easy to play but hard to master. It now features a particularly lively esports scene with cash prices that are not to be scoffed at. With new modes like Hearthstone Mercenaries and Hearthstone Battlegrounds, it’s possible that there has never been a spinoff of a game that has subsequently had so many spin-offs of its own.
If you’re after a more intergalactic feel, then Void Tyrant is the app card game you’re looking for. This sci-fi deck-builder contains over 500 cards to collect and play against your opponent, each has fun and decidedly retro vibes that fit into the game’s quirky lore.
The player’s ultimate mission is to reclaim the Eye of Chronos. Doing so will require good strategy and good fortune. Much like Gwent, sacrifice plays a key role in Void Tyrant. It takes “hit or stick” mechanics from games like Blackjack and re-imagines them in a narrative rogue-like setting complete with traps, base-building, powerful artifacts, and plenty of other surprises.
Void Tyrant can be considered a hybrid card app game thanks to its crossovers with these other genres. While it contains many elements from other types of games, it is the deck-building and card-based combat that makes the title so engaging. Part of the appeal of card-based app games is their casual gameplay, and Void Tyrant’s stop-and-pause functionality means it’s one that you can always pick up on the go (or, you know, on the train or on the toilet – we don’t need to know the details).
Some games are classics for a reason, and Uno is one of them. Chances are you’ve all played Uno at some point in your lives so we won’t spend too long discussing the rules. But in short, players take turns deploying cards, both normal and powered, from their deck in a race to become the first person to lay down all of their cards. It’s simple, competitive, and ticks all of the boxes of a compelling app card game.
The officially licensed Uno app game adds to the original card game with some compelling additions. Beyond its succinctly laid out user interface, the app version is filled with fun challenges and events, such as the current Easter Egg hunt.
Moreover, there are league tables, friending systems, rankings, tournaments, and a selection of “House Rules” variants which bend the gameplay of the original card game. One of our favorite variants here at AppGames is the 2v2 mode. While only involving a minor change to the rules, it completely shifts the strategy and dynamics of the game. Though we still think they missed a trick by not naming it Duo.
Clash Royale is another spinoff that crossed the boundaries of gaming genres. This time, its antecedent was another app game, the strategy mobile app gaming classic, Clash of Clans.
Do not let the cartoonish graphics deceive you. Unlike some of the casual gameplay of the other titles we’ve put forward here, there’s no playing a game of Clash Royale gradually over a number of days. It’s a fast-paced real-time title in which a player’s deck will decide their fate in the arena.
With cards representing armies, defenses, magic, and more, Clash Royale combines MOBA elements with Tower Defense and Deck Building. If you were watching a competitive Clash Royale match, you could almost be forgiven for missing its card-based foundations, so frantic is the mission to topple the enemy king from his throne.
The app card game hosts near-constant events and updates. There are local leagues, seasonal rankings, and international tournaments for all you competitive types out there.
Legends of Runeterra
If you ever meet a gamer who rejects app card games because they argue luck plays too much of a role, tell them to give Legends of Runeterra a try. This strategic skill-based card game for mobile and tablet is about mastery, not fortune. There is no pay-to-win. There are no lucky rolls. It’s a dog-eat-dog world of fantasy card-based fury.
Released just two years ago in 2020, Legends of Runeterra is already competing with the big boys of app card games. It compiles its hardcore offering with more familiar fantasy friends, not least of which are the beloved fantasy characters from its developer, Riot Games. Namely, the butt-kicking Jynx and Echo from Arcane and League of Legends.
Gameplay includes both PvE and PvP modes where powerful champion cards are used to supplement your forces against unique encounters. While a highly competitive game, Legends of Runeterra is by no means an inaccessible title for more casual players. As well as non-ranked matches, there are loot-boxes, level ups, customization, and experience points for a more RPG-style experience to supplement the fun.
We hope you enjoyed this list of the most successful app card games of all time. If you think there are any that we should have included, be sure to let us know!
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