There is an episode of Adventure Time, a popular Cartoon Network show, where boy Finn and his magical dog Jake play a game called Card Wars. The episode spoofs real life collectible card games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and Magic: The Gathering. And now, you can play Card Wars on iOS devices (reviewed on iPad here). Play as and challenge characters like Finn, Jake, BMO, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum, and more! Yes, you can even “Floop the Pig” just like in the cartoon!
The rules are like a simplified version of card games like Magic. But it’s not TOO simple so you get bored playing. First you have to lay down four environment cards. Certain monsters can be set on certain environment cards. There are four lanes that you can set environment cards and monsters cards on. You can also place building cards on the four lanes to boost the stats of your monster cards. Once you are done placing your cards, you can attack the opponent. Each monster will attack the opponent’s monster in that lane. But if a lane is empty, that monster will attack the opponent directly. Whittle down your opponent’s hit points to zero to win the match.
Each turn you have five magic points to spend. When you place monster or building cards on the field; that takes up points. Whatever points you have left over, you can spend them to use spell cards or “Floop” your monster cards. “Floop” just means activating that monster’s special skill. The game does a good job of explaining the rules, way better than I can, so if you’re still confused, don’t worry.
In the game, you’ll challenge players on a map. Your opponents include popular characters from the Adventure Time cartoon such as Jake, Finn, BMO, and more. Sometimes, after beating them, you’ll be able to play as that character. Each character has a special skill they can activate after a few turns. When you beat a challenger, you’ll earn a star. You can replay the same character two more times in a level to earn more stars by beating them with certain rules applied. Get three stars on a character and you’ll earn a gem (more on that later). The map to this game is HUGE, and the fact that you can challenge each spot on the map multiple times means the game has tons of replay value.
By defeating opponents, you’ll also gain experience points and levels. The higher level you are, the more cards you can have in your deck, and the higher your hit points will be. By beating monsters, you can earn cards you can add to your deck. You’ll even be able to craft new cards with recipes by combining old cards into new ones. You can also buy cards using gems. Gems are hard to come by so you’ll want to spend them wisely. Gems are also handy if you need to reshuffle your deck when you run out of cards in a match. And you can use gems to continue your game if you lose as well.
The only problem I had with Card Wars is that it’s not a free-to-play game, but presents itself like one. For instance, in most free-to-play games, you have a stamina counter and can only play for so long before you have to let a counter refill over time. Well Card Wars has something like that, too. Granted, you don’t have to wait very long for it to refill, and it’ll also refill when you win certain matches, but it still seems unnecessary to have it in there in the first place. Also, it feels like in order to do well in the game, you’ll have to rely on in-game purchases to get the best cards.
But otherwise, Card Wars is still a fun little card game and if you enjoy Adventure Time and collectible card games, you may want to check this one out anyway. Supposedly, they’re also going to be making a physical Card Wars game, too!
Violence is only minimal. Characters just bump into each other and disappear when defeated, and they’re all holograms anyway. Reading skill is a must for the text instructions, and the game might be too hard and frustrating for younger players. The game includes in-game purchases, so parents may want to watch out for that. But Cartoon Network is pretty good about that sort of thing in their games.