Do you enjoy playing collectible card games but don’t like having to carry around lots of paper? Well, there are quite a few digital CCGs that’ll scratch the same itch as physical ones, but without all the space and monetary commitments!
Available on: iOS, Android, PC, and Mac
When it comes to digital card games, Hearthstone is easily the most recognizable brand in the space. That’s because it’s the game that helped put digital card games back on the map and because it comes from Blizzard, one of the biggest game developers out there. Part of what makes Hearthstone so great is how long it’s been around. The developers have had years to come up with new cards and mechanics and a thriving pro scene has helped to shape an interesting meta that’s constantly changing and evolving.
The actual game is played between two players, each with a deck of 30 cards. There are heroes that have their own powers and cards, as well as neutral cards that are available to all classes. One issue you might find with the game is that it’s hard to keep up if you don’t spend money, but let’s be honest, you can’t play a physical CCG or TCG without spending money either.
Available on: PC, Mac, and Linux (Coming to Android, iOS in 2019)
Artifact is a relatively new game to the digital CCG scene, and while it didn’t make as many waves as people thought it might, it’s still a pretty solid game that’s worth a try. It comes from Valve, and is based in the Dota 2 world. Interestingly, unlike most other digital CCGs, the game costs money to get started, which could be why it hasn’t caught on as much as it seems like it would with such a huge name behind it.
Like Hearthstone, it’s a one-on-one game that sees players building a deck of cards in order to defeat their opponent. Where it stands out is in the board. Like Dota 2, the game sees each player managing three lanes with a tower at the end. There’s a lot of depth in the game, and a very steep learning curve, but if you’re willing to learn the intense mechanchs, it’s pretty rewarding.
3. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Available on: PC, Windows, and Xbox One
Gwent is the digital card game that was part of The Witcher 3. Because players enjoyed it so much within the larger game, the developers decided to spin the card game off into its own thing. The Witcher 3 came out in 2015, and the dedicated card game first hit the market in 2018.
Like most card games, it’s a one-on-one battle. Each game is divided into three rounds. While the game is happening, each player needs to play at least one card from their deck of at least twenty-five cards. Similar to Hearthstone, the decks belong to a faction, which determines aspects of the play style. It’s also free-to-play, which means you can jump in and get started without spending anything, though you’ll need to invest if you want to keep up with the latest decks.
4. The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Available on: iOS, Android, PC, and Mac
You’ve almost certainly heard of The Elder Scrolls at one point in your gaming life, and this is the card game based on the beloved franchise. The game first released in 2017, and it’s been going fairly strong ever since. While not as huge as Hearthstone, the game being free-to-play does mean that it has a solid player base.
Everything in Legends is based on characters, monsters, and lore found in The Elder Scrolls video games like Oblivion and Skyrim. Decks in this game are between 50 and 100 cards, and it’s one-on-one (there are computer-controlled opponents to play against before going online). The game has received mostly positive reviews from critics and fans of CCGs, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
Available on: iOS, Android, Mac, and PC
Shadowverse is actually the only game on the list that isn’t tied to a huge franchise (WoW, Elder Scrolls, Dota 2, The Witcher). Instead, it’s set in its own universe. It has a very anime look and feel to every aspect of the game, and unlike a lot of other games, there’s a fairly involved story mode that’s great for getting started with the game.
As far as the mechanics, it’s a one-on-one game where each player is represented by a leader with 20 health and a starting hand of three cards. Like most CCGs, the objective is to reduce your opponent’s health to zero using the cards from your deck. It’s free, so it’s definitely worth giving it a shot.
The Future of CCGs Is Now
Who needs to go out and spend big money on physical card games? You can get much of the same fun from these digital games, and the you won’t need to spend as much, nor will you need to fill your house with paper cards in order to have a good time.