If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of all of the free-to-play digital CCGs out there today; they’re often similar and almost indistinguishable from the others, and when they’re not those, they’re completely broken. It’s rare to find a CCG that’s unique and fun anymore. Besides that, it’s often frustrating going against other players online because everyone else is better than you.
Enter Card City Nights.
In some ways, Card City Nights plays a lot like Pokemon; you travel around a map and defeat eight card-playing masters to collect their legendary cards, and then play against the city’s top player in an attempt to become the best yourself. Oh, and you have to fight against a rival who’s also trying to be “the best”.
In other ways, Card City Nights is unlike anything I’ve ever played before. Like most card games, you have to earn more cards to build a decent deck, and you collect cards by buying booster packs or individual cards (with in-game gold), or winning them in fights. However, it’s the way the game is played that differs from the norm.
Each player has a 3×3 grid where they place their cards. Each card has a number of arrows that are used to string together cards in combos; when a number of cards that have the same type are strung together, they perform an effect, such as increasing your health or damaging your opponent’s defense.
In theory, it’s a very different type of card game. In practice, it’s a lot of fun — at first. In the beginning of the game, you have to figure out what a reasonable combination of cards are for your deck. If you’re diligent, though, it’s not too difficult to get enough gold to build a deck that will carry you through most (if not all) of the rest of the game. A greater variety in enemy decks or game mechanics would have made Card City Nights more enjoyable.
The lack of multiplayer is both a blessing and a curse; it’s refreshing and relaxing to be able to play a game without worrying about the metagame or getting better than other players. On the other hand, the lack of multiplayer is one of the factors contributing to the lack of variety in the game. However, if you really want to play with your friends, there are PDFs of the cards that you can print out and play on your table.
Despite the extremely straightforward gameplay, I still enjoyed Card City Nights. It’s got a good few hours of gameplay in it, and the price is reasonable. I recommend giving it a try if you’re looking for something different, or if you’re looking for a game that’s good for playing on short breaks.
Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Price: $2 – $4