Some of the best mobile card games, like Slay the Spire or Gwent’s Thronebreaker, show how whole worlds can be built with cards and are an alternative for developers who can’t make the huge settings of their triple-A counterparts. The games below may use the format in different ways, but they are all good.
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Cut-throat competitions aren’t for everyone, but all of the people who compete are smart and clever. There are two types of card games that are popular right now: highly competitive TCG/CCG multiplayer battlers based on Hearthstone, and more casual games that are often based on physical card games that already exist. In our list of the best mobile card games, we have all these types of cards in there, too.
GWENT: THE WITCHER CARD GAME
A Witcher 3 card game called Gwent is now available for Android and iOS. It took a while, but the official spin-off is now available. A lot has changed since it was first released. It has been updated and changed a lot, so we mobile gamers get a game that is tight and unique compared to other games. At the end of each round, the person with the most points at the end of the round wins. This is not about smashing each other’s cards into dust or attacking their life points. It’s just a best-of-three fight to have more points than your opponent at the end of the round.
This simple idea can lead to a lot of clever card combinations and clever moves, with card advantage being a very important concept. As a free-to-play game, there are IAPS and micro-transactions, but they aren’t too bad and you can still get cards through play. If you want to improve your game, check out our Gwent guide.
LEGENDS OF RUNETERRA
Hearthstone has long been the best mobile deck builder, but Legends of Runeterra changes things up just a little enough. Using a new spell system for extra mana, as well as attack and block phases, the tactical depth of the game is better than many of its card game rivals. This makes it one of the best card games on Android.
For example, the art in the game, Legends of Runeterra, is very good and very many. It not only helps to make the world come to life, but it also lets you play as some of its characters as Champions. Check out our guide to Legends of Runeterra decks if you want to learn how to play.
AGE OF RIVALS
This strategy card game was released in 2017 and draws a lot from physical design, but it’s still very much a game that’s played on a computer. A lot of the game is about drafting, not building decks. There are five phases that happen in each of four rounds. A game can last as little as ten minutes, but it can also last a long time.
It’s simple, but there’s a little flair to it as you try to pick cards based on certain themes and build up your board as the game goes on. While it was in a bad state when it first came out, this game has grown into a great one over the years. It’s worth a look. Want more mischief on the board? Check out our picks for the best board games that work on your phone.
SHARDS OF INFINITY
People know the name Ascension when they play deck building card games on their phones. It was Playdek who brought that light into our world, but Temple Gates Games has the honour of bringing the spiritual successor to Ascension to mobile. It’s one of the best card games we’ve ever played, and it’s free. There are a lot of interesting twists on the deck-building process in the game itself. Not only is Shards of Infinity different from Ascension, but it’s also different from any other games that have been made before this one.
One of the few games that has been a staple on this list since its inception is Tinytouchtales’ Card Thief, but there are other great card games the developer has also made. Players try to make potions for customers who need them. Miracle Merchant was the most recent game to come out. You have to balance the competing, but equally important, tasks of making sure your customers are happy and making money. Miracle Merchant is the best solitaire card game there is. In this game, the art style is perfect, and the tactical decision-making is very complex and well thought out.
REIGNS: GAME OF THRONES
Game of Thrones-licensed Reigns is the best example we can think of of a title that fits the phrase “living your best life” better than any other. Honestly, this is the best version of the Reigns formula we’ve ever seen. It also helps that the game is set in a fun and well-known IP.
Reigns: Game of Thrones has the same swiping mechanics as Tinder, but it also has mediaeval hilarity, hard decisions, and a lot of fun. Players try to rule the Seven Kingdoms as one of nine iconic characters from the show. All of this is made possible by the character Melisandre. You play out her visions of how these characters might get to be on top of the Iron Throne. A lot of people don’t like licenced games, but this one is a great version of a great game. For more savage diplomacy, check out our list of the best mobile strategy games.
Card Thief is probably the best card game made by the very talented Arnold Rauers. As a thief, you’ll use only cards to try to get your hands on a variety of treasure. During your search for valuable things that other people have that you can get, you’ll pick pockets, evade police, and stay out of the way.
Asmodee Digital has a lot of card and board games that you can play on your phone or tablet. We’ve chosen Ascension for this list. It’s a real deck builder made by three Magic: The Gathering tournament winners, has more than 50 cards, and can be played alone or with other people.
Now, something a little different. Exploding Kittens is a card game that looks a lot like Russian Roulette. You and up to four other people pull cards from a deck until someone gets an Exploding Kitten card. Unless they have a Defuse card, they’re out of the game. Also, there are many other cards that can help stop explosions in this fun and intense card game.