Card games have an enduring popularity through-out history. Their simple format makes them easily approachable, yet thousands of different rule-sets and variants means you’ll never tire of having fresh and interesting ways to play with them. This remains true as ever in our modern digital age, however nowadays there are hundreds, or even thousands, of novel new games based upon the playing card format. Below we take a look at some of the most intriguing and exciting card based video games you can play today.
Blackjack is a traditional card game with a long history dating back to at least the renaissance. While many think you need a deck of cards in order to play blackjack, the game has in fact experienced a major revival in online spaces among digital natives who prefer their gaming to be meditated by smart devices. Many platforms offer online versions of this classic game, often with optimizations that improve upon the base title, such as offering statistics, and featuring match-making modes ensuring you’ll always have someone to play with.
Hearthstone started life as a minigame spin-off to Blizzard’s popular Warcraft series. Originally named Heroes of Warcraft, the game was based loosely upon the physical World of Warcraft collectible card game. Hearthstone has since become a firm favorite among the Esports community thanks to its surprising depth of play and engaging rule-set. The game consists of one-on-one competitive rounds, and pits players against each another to battle it out with their curated decks of 30 cards each. The turn-based combat is extremely strategic, with players having to make the most of a limited number of moves and abilities in order to defeat their opponent, all the while defending from attack themselves. The game also features a huge range of microtransaction options, letting players invest in acquiring the cards they need to round off their dream deck. At present, approximately 100 million players enjoy Hearthstone across its various versions across the world.
Uno is perhaps the most instantly recognizable, family friendly card game out there. The game has been around since the 70s, and became a part of Mattel’s family of companies in 1992. The basic premise of Uno is to win by being the first one to shed the cards in your hand. This is complicated by special cards that cause reversals, as well as blocking cards that can be used by your opponents to slow your progress. Uno can be enjoyed online in a variety of ways, from apps available on Android and Apple products, to HTML5 iterations, meaning you can pick up and play across a range of platforms. Perhaps the best way to play however, is through Facebook’s instant games service, as this will let you challenge anyone on your friend list to a game over their increasingly popular messaging app, Facebook messenger.
Reigns is a unique and innovative take on a card style game. This game, which is ostensibly a strategy title, puts you in charge of a fictional monarch in a medieval setting. The basic premise of the game is that you are presented with a range of choices and can either accept or reject the cards on offer. This is similar to the way dating apps such as Tinder utilise a card based UI in order to sort through prospective matches.
In Reigns, what appear to be straightforward decisions can have unexpected consequences further down the line. The game relishes in exploring the moral ambiguity that surrounds difficult decisions, and rewards players for thinking outside the box. The title is wildly popular in indie gaming circles, and is available on a host of platforms including Android, macOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch and iOS. The game has received several sequels, first in 2017, named Reigns: Her Majesty, that puts you in charge of a queen protagonist. Following this came a Game of Thrones collaboration spin-off, titled Reigns: Game of Thrones, in 2018.