The Resurgence of Digital Card Games

digital card games

Sure, the digital card games go back a long time but the last few years have seen a variety of large titles from famous developers join the fray. From casual sessions to hardcore esports, from Android and iOS mobile devices’ titles to PC and console releases, these games have gathered loyal communities and huge online following.

Let’s take a look at the biggest, loudest titles that came out in the last few years. Note that the list below is not put in any kind of ranked order and only has a short description of the game, screenshot of the board so you have a visual representation of the title and a link to the beginner’s guide on how to get started.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a turn-based free-to-play card game set in the Warcraft universe. Two opponents are fighting each other using constructed decks of 30 cards along with a selected hero with a unique power. Players use their limited mana crystals to play abilities or summon minions to attack the opponent, with the goal of destroying the opponent’s hero.

Hearthstone has a variety of modes such as Casual, Ranked and Single Player mode with special rulesets.

The game’s meta has seen significant changes over the years, with a great number of cards being added or reworked with the addition of the new expansions. The latest, Rastakhan’s Rumble, has just arrived.

hearthstone digital card games

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game

CD Projekt RED’s GWENT is a free-to-play card game set in the universe of The Witcher. Two players are battling each other over three rounds with the decks of at least 25 cards that can belong to a variety of factions that offer different playstyles and unique leaders’ abilities.

Sling cards across two tactically distinct rows — melee and ranged. Gather more points than your opponent to win a round. Score two out of three rounds to win the battle. Bluffing and deception are as important in GWENT as the actual army you bring to the table.

There is also Gwent with RPG attached – Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales available for PC for $29.99.

Gwent digital card games

Magic: the Gathering Arena

Magic: The Gathering Arena is a free-to-play PC collectible card game by Wizards of the Coast. It follows the same ruleset as the physical game, with players using the decks of cards that include land cards that generate mana, and play cards that consume that mana to summon creatures, cast offensive and defensive spells, or other effects. Players battle other players using a selected deck, with the goal of reducing the opponent’s health to zero before it can be done to them.

Magic the Gathering Arena digital card games

Eternal

Eternal is a free-to-play collective card game for PC, Xbox One, iOS and Android developed and published by Dire Wolf Digital. The opponents use decks with various amounts of cards to cast spells, use attachments or summon units to attack the opponent. The winner is the first person to reduce the opponent’s health to zero.

Eternal has a variety of modes from PvE campaign to competitive Tournaments.

Eternal digital card games

The Elder Scrolls: Legends

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a free-to-play card game for PC, iOS and Android published by Bethesda Softworks. As comes from the name, the game draws upon the creatures, characters and rich lore of The Elder Scrolls series.

Each side starts with a deck between 50 and 100 cards with the goal to reduce the opponent’s hero health to zero while taking advantage of the innovative dual-lane setup. The opponents use their limited magicka gained at the beginning of a turn to draw cards split into four categories: Support, Action, Creatures and Items.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends recently went through a transformative experience with the first iteration being poorly received.

The Elder Scrolls Legends digital card games

The last but not the least in the list is the latest and hottest release from Valve, Artifact. Unlike the rest of the games above, this beauty is a buy-to-play and has received mixed reviews in Steam.

Artifact

Artifact is a buy-to-play trading card game set in the fantasy universe of DOTA 2 by Valve. Take your deck to challenge your opponent across three lanes of combat guarded by towers, with each lane being its own individual board. Answer every move of your opponent with your own and be the first to destroy the Ancient.

Unlimited hand size. Unlimited number of units you control. Unlimited mana you can employ.

Artifact

The digital resurgence has arrived not only for the CCGs/TCGs out there but also for time-tested classics like solitaire, blackjack and poker. If you do not believe me, take a look at the number of different editions across Google Play and Apple Store with hundreds of thousands of downloads.

If you wish to be successful, however, and have fun winning, you have to do the homework the same way you would for CCGs: learn when to hit or stand, double down, split pairs and surrender your hand in blackjack and understand pot equity in poker. Check out Online Casino’s guide to counting cards in poker to get started! The number of variations this basic knowledge will open for you is insane.

If you want to scratch your gambling itch, many Android or iOS apps are using “fake” money, showing your in-game balance as you go with no threat to your real life wallet if you go a bit down.

That is unless you play Sage Solitaire in the hardcore mode. This game will not forgive you for your mistakes. Ever.

Sage Solitaire digital card games

The turn-based gameplay and the nature of card games make for a perfect distraction when you are travelling or just want to spend this 15-minutes-break at your PC slinging cards. Whether you have hours or just a few minutes, easy-to-pick-up but hard-to-master essence of card games can keep you occupied forever! Add that quite a few of those are free-to-play and you have the recipe for just the way to kill some time.

Is there a particular title that you currently enjoy, think of playing in the future or look forward to if it is in development? Or are you more old-school classic card games person? My personal itch has been scratched with Hearthstone’s single-player modes like Dungeon Runs – I do not own most of its updates, so the path to the Wild Ranked mode is closed for me and the Standard becomes stale after a while. The light-hearted humor and the bright, cartoonish representation of Azeroth keep me coming back.

Written by
While growing up in the wilds of Russia, Catherine learned to talk, write and game at almost the same time. You can follow her attempts at latter two at MMORPG.com and GameSpace.

2 Comments

  1. I truly believe we’ll be able to see a PC Munchkin version some years letter. Sometimes its hard to find opponents for the game, with PC and the Internet it will be easier.

    • I and friends have spent endless hours playing a variety of board games – from something more hardcore to easy swift rounds of Jackal. Sadly, the reality of life is that due to work we rarely have enough time to play an entire party from start to finish when we meet up if we have time for board games at all.

      So being able to challenge each other in Hearthstone has been just the thing. I just wish there were more “casual” CCGs that allow for more than just 1-on-1 🙂

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