Card games have been around almost as long as civilization, dating back to 9th century China. Eventually, the 52 card pack we’ve all come to know and love moved over west and evolved into the various trading card games you can now play. Each card game has its own set of rules that sets it apart from others.
As the internet was introduced to the world, so was the idea of playing your favourite card games, such as poker, online. As card games started to transition onto the web, finding an opponent to play against became easier. Challenging someone to a card game became a whole lot easier and just required a log-in password and a bit of time.
Fast-forward from the 20th century to the 21st, and your favourite games are available at the click of a button. Consoles, such as the latest Xbox X Series and PS5, push the boundaries of technology. They have started to develop more life-like graphics, flawless AI systems, and VR technology for a fully immersive experience. But sometimes, all that you want is the simplicity of a game of cards.
Here are some great card games that are a perfect example of old meets new that will provide you with a few hours of solid, simple fun with a fantasy twist.
Hearthstone is considered to be the ultimate online Collectible Card Game (CCG) on the market. This CCG uses all the traditional elements of Magic that players will be familiar with while also introducing players to some new and exciting features.
This game seems to influence many other online CCGs, making them feel similar and familiar. Players need very little time to get acquainted with the game’s mechanics, which is a plus.
This game was initially developed as a side game to the well-known RPG, The Witcher, but has grown so popular that developers CD Projekt Red made it into its own game. Thronebreaker is a great solo experience that puts a bit of a twist on the original game. Still, the online version seems to be growing in popularity with players in and outside of The Witcher fanbase.
The game mechanics are slightly different from how players will have experienced it in The Witcher 3, although the gameplay is the same.
Shadowverse is another game that draws some inspiration from the game Magic. The formula is similar, but the game still manages to stand out as a fantastic solo and multiplayer experience. Each leader card in the game represents a different deck, and each deck has a unique playstyle that makes it exciting to experiment with if you are new to the game.
With heavy influences from anime, the plot has some great twists and turns and will take you on an adventure. The game also has some amazing card graphics and artwork that other games struggle to replicate. Unlike other games, Shadowverse uses a monetisation system that players can avoid entirely by using the gameplay reward system instead, making it free for some users when played smartly.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
The company may be struggling now, but it would be silly to ignore the success Bethesda has seen in recent years from their ever-so-popular card game version of The Elder Scrolls.
Taking inspiration from games such as Magic and Hearthstone, Legends uses similar mechanics to these titles but contains several other elements to help it stand out. The developers may have cancelled the console ports of The Legends, but the PC version is still around and is well worth playing for anyone who knows or enjoys the world of the Elder Scrolls.
Perhaps one of the more unique games on this list, Faeira uses the same well-known mechanics that most other games use and adds a board-building element that mixes things up.
This exciting secondary feature adds another layer to the player strategy. Monsters make their way around the board towards opponents, similar to how Dungeon Dice Monsters from Yu-Gi-Oh functions, and can only move onto specific tile types.
Eternal is another game in the same bracket as Hearthstone, Shadowverse and Magic, with a similar gameplay style. Eternal differs from the others as it comes with a much larger story mode.
The gameplay is easy enough for veteran CCG players to understand but modern enough to set it apart from Hearthstone. Players tend to find this game immensely entertaining due to the insane amount of voice acting and deck customisation, rare in an online card game.
So whether you’re new to this style of gaming or you’re a veteran of the sport, online card games are a fantastic way to connect with others. Players taking part can have fun exploring and defeating monsters in the fantasy world of their choice, or simply see who can shout GO FISH the loudest.