Collectible Card Game MMOs

Oh internet, whatever would we do without you? Once upon a time if I wanted to play a board or card game I had to use something called a ‘telephone’ to ‘call’, as it were, a friend to see whether they were free to play. Needless to say that when I first started playing Magic: The Gathering, arguably the world’s most famous collectable card game (CCG), I had very few opponents. But then the internet came along and basically eradicated the need for face-to-face play (although playing the physical game is always better in my opinion). Now if I want to play some Magic: The Gathering at some unholy hour, in my robe, I know that I can log on to Magic Online and start flinging spells. However, if you don’t fancy forking out a wad of cash for the privilege of playing Magic Online to its full potential never fear, for free alternative CCGs await you in the amazing universe of the intertubes.

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Online Gameplay Screenshot

It’s a kind of Magic

If you’re wanting a game along the same lines mechanically as Magic then you might want to give Ederon a spin. Like MTG, Ederon is all about wearing your opponent’s health down to zero before she does the same to you. Instead of pitting creatures against each other, players attack with weapons, whilst trying to block their foe with their own weapons. The mechanics are a stripped down version of MTG, making Ederon a great game for newbies to the genre to get their teeth into. If you fancy a challenge then you can take part in a ranked match, but there is the option to play friendly games too which don’t count towards your overall score. Ederon is fast, furious and a lot of fun.

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Magic the Gathering Tactics Gameplay Screenshot

A whole new world

But the world of CCGs is a big place, so perhaps you want to broaden your horizons. As far as high quality browser CCG MMOs go, Urban Rivals takes some beating. Sporting some fantastic artwork, Urban Rivals is all about collecting and levelling up character cards. Your character might begin as a weak, scrawny little wisp of a thing, but once levelled up to its maximum it will be a force to be reckoned with. The rules are easy to understand and can be picked up quickly. Each player has a selection of character cards on their side. The aim is to attack the opponent’s cards with your own to reduce the opposing player’s 12 life points. You can use ‘Pillz’ to give your characters a bonus to attack, but with a limited supply of these babies you will need to think tactically when best to use them. Aside from the battles themselves, Urban Rivals allows you to train up your characters to gain XP and you can also accept missions which you unlock as you progress.

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Urban Rivals Gameplay Screenshot

When two worlds collide

What if you want a more animated CCG? After all, you’re no longer restricted to just little cardboard rectangles when you’re playing online. BattleForge is a mighty hybrid of RTS and CCG with both PVE and PVP modes. Playing cards gives you access to units that you can move around the battlefield to complete objectives. You can also summon defense towers and cast spells with your deck, each of which costs points that can be acquired by capturing power wells. Your 20 card decks can be customised to your heart’s desire depending on your play style. You’re also able to trade cards, however you can also purchase new cards with points that can be bought from the cash shop. If you’re a fan of RTS or CCG, BattleForge is worth your time.

There is a fair amount of MMO CCGs out there for you to explore, many of them free. While I’ll always enjoy sitting at a table and playing a game more, the convenience and inexpensiveness of online CCGs makes them a good alternative if you can’t get friends around.

How do you think MMO CCGs compare with the real thing? Can you recommend any to other readers?

By, Scott Malthouse

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