Collectible Card Games have been around for years, but only in the last few years have their digital counterpartss come to prominence. The widespread acceptance of free-to-play has helped fuel this rise. Familiar names like Magic: the Gathering are expected, but there are plenty of other options if you’re into the genre. These eight digital CCGs are completely worth checking out.
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Legends of Norrath
If you’re a person who loves the Everquest universe and also can’t get enough CCGs, then Legends of Norrath should be your next game. While it’s free-to-play, you can obviously buy booster packs to fill out your collection, and the decks you build can be used to play through a single-player campaign or in multiplayer battles. If you’re an Everquest or EQ 2 player, you can start playing Legends of Norrath with a free starter deck.
Designed by a team made up of veterans who worked on Magic: the Gathering and Ascension, SolForge burst onto the scene in 2013. It received nearly half a million dollars in Kickstarter funding. Its gameplay will be familiar to MtG fans, but there are some tweaks, including cards that level, no mana costs, and a few others. It’s free-to-play with microtransactions, but you can also earn boosters and currency simply by playing the game.
Hex: Shards of Fate
Hex: Shards of Fate calls itself part MMO, part TCG. Designed by Cryptozoic, the developers of the World of Warcraft TCG, Hex has players choose a class, get a starter deck, and then dive into the game. Not only can you acquire new cards through buying packs, you can trade, sell, or buy cards through the in-game auction house. With over 650 cards available, and both single-player and multiplayer capabilities, Hex is definitely worth a look if you’re a CCG fan.
Magic: the Gathering Online
If you’re a fan of playing Magic: the Gathering in the real world, you’ll definitely want to check out Magic Online. At its core, Magic Online is trying to replicate the experience of playing the physical game, but in a digital world. You can do just about everything here that you do in real-life MtG. Drafting, deck building, and tournament play are all included, and all of it will cost you money. You’re playing Magic, and the only difference it that the cards are not in your hand, they’re on the screen.
Card Hunter brings card play, deck-building, and tabletop role-playing together in one game. You’ll collect gear, and when you equip it, you’ll get a few cards for your hand. These cards are used to control movement, combat, and all other actions taken in the game. More loot means more cards, and you can take on not only the considerable single-player campaign, but other players as well. It’s an interesting blend of genres that’s downright fun to play.
In contrast to the previously mentioned Magic: the Gathering Online, Magic: Duels aims to make the sometimes complex world of MtG a little more approachable. It offers up a more limited number of cards, a little more direction in how to play, and a great look & feel. Sometimes the rules may not be applied exactly right, but overall, Magic: Duels fills exactly the role Wizards of the Coast hoped it would. It’s a gateway drug to playing Magic: the Gathering.
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions offers a familiar IP in a very different package. This free-to-play game features a robust deck building system, a full single-player campaign, and multiplayer against both the AI and other players. You can also dive into tournaments if you’re so inclined. Instead of simply having a mana resource, Duel of Champions has three resources: Resource, Might, and Magic. Some cards also require a player to be a certain level before playing them. All of these systems combine to make a game that’s familiar, yet subtly different in many ways. It’s a fun CCG, and it’s free-to-play on Steam.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
The current king of the CCG hill is Blizzard’s free-to-play masterpiece, Hearthstone. It’s taken the world by storm, reaching a player base of over 30 million people earlier this year. Blizzard’s managed this the same way they seem to do every other hit – take an existing genre and make it more accessible without losing the fun. Hearthstone combines familiar characters and art style with easily understandable mechanics to produce a fun game. It can be frustrating, especially when you run up against someone with a very powerful deck, but overall, it’s still great fun.