Bad Blood TCG is a simple, accessible trading card game on mobile

Trading card games are almost a complete anomaly to me. I’ve dabbled in the Magic: The Gathering video games, but they’ve never really clicked or made a ton of sense when I actually start playing. I realize they’re wildly popular and I’m in the minority when you start diving into hardcore tabletop gaming fans, but something about them has never gotten me interested. Let’s see if Creative Mobile’s Bad Blood can change my mind.

Bad Blood pits humans, werewolves and vampires against in each other in direct card combat. Each card has up to three base statistics: attack power, health and a number that determines when it can enter battle. Cards in battle are paired up vertically to fight, with only special abilities (as described on the card) reaching other cards. Each side takes turns attacking from left to right (as you, the player, views the field) until they run out of cards in play. Victory is determined when a side runs out of overall health or there are no cards left, whichever comes first.

Bad Blood TCG

There’s a lengthy campaign through multiple dungeons, online play against other humans, and one-off battles and dungeon runs offline. As much game as there is to play, there’s no tutorial or help section. When you first launch the game after installing it, you’re taken directly to a battle that’s already been set up, and you watch it all happen with zero interaction other than confirming that you read something. It’s very disconcerting, because what you don’t realize is how little you actually do interact with this game, especially when the most “gamey” part is taking place.

Once you choose the cards that make up your deck, and which deck or decks will do battle, the game then takes over and plays out the battle on its own. At first this very much turned me off, but I kept playing and eventually it didn’t really bother me. I actually liked watching things unfold, but it does take some of the emotional involvement away from the results. Whether you win or lose is not much up to you. Even if you send exactly the same selection into the same battle, the results might be completely different based on what order the cards are dealt. While this might sound like a detriment to the game, it’s actually something that kept me playing when I might have put other games down.

Bad Blood TCG

Bad Blood is a free-to-download, microtransaction-supported app. You gain experience and gold as you go that can be used at the in-game shop to buy more decks and campaigns. I found that I never needed to spend real-life money to buy more gold since the cards that I was rewarded were generally good enough to win me most of the battles. You can also remove the in-game ads for a $1.99 in-app purchase. Gold costs anywhere from $0.99 for 1,000 to $29.99 for 100,000.

I found myself surprised at how much I enjoyed my time with Bad Blood. Considering that I don’t have a given affinity for trading card games already, I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d want to play this. Though some of you who are more experienced with this type of game might find it pedestrian, Bad Blood gets all the basics of a mobile game correct. Quite frankly, it’s about as addictive as anything I’ve ever played on my phone.