Mystic Card Battle is a simple, but fun Facebook card game that delivers real-time multiplayer
If the title “Mystic Card Battle” is conjuring up images of crazy complicated card games like Magic: The Gathering, don’t worry – this game is nothing of the sort. In fact, despite its name suggesting otherwise, Mystic Card Battle would feel much more at home in a casino than it would the back room of a gaming store. This is a simple game of matching cards and fake gambling, no spellcasting required.
A multiplayer game at its very core, Mystic Card Battle pits two real world players against each other through the magic of Facebook. And despite a fairly lengthy tutorial, the gameplay here is alarmingly easy. Each player is dealt 10 cards to start, and eight cards and a draw deck are placed in between them. Players will take turns playing a card from their hand that matches one of the eight cards in front of them. After this, they’ll flip over a new card to add to the table. They’ll take their match and put the cards in special sections on their side of the playing field, and if they card they flipped over is a match, they’ll take that pair too.
The special sections are divided by a letter on each of the cards. H is for heroes, O is for officers, K is for knights, and letterless cards are soldiers. You'll earn points in a variety of ways, but primarily by having more a certain number of cards in your collection of heroes, knights, or officers. The first player to reach seven points is the winner.
And while the game itself is exceedingly simple, there are a few nice little touches to make it more than just a matching game. If you make a match and flip over a third card that matches, for example, that’ll lock that set until a fourth card can be added. Other elements, like earning points for collecting particular cards or completing certain missions, help to fatten the experience up a tad.
Once you win a hand, there’s a press-your-luck element that comes into play. Do you cash out now and take your winnings? Or do you want to go back to the table and keep playing, trying to earn more points before your opponent reaches seven? If you decide to take the risk and your opponent hits seven, they’ll get to walk away the winner, or press their own luck too.
In terms of presentation, the game offers some gorgeous backgrounds and a great fantasy score, but the card art – the one place you’d expect Mystic Card Battle to be strong – is simply too small to be appreciated. It’s a shame too, because what we can see looks terrific. At the moment there are two different decks to choose from – one that depicts the characters in classic high fantasy art, and one that depicts the same characters in a cute manga style. Hopefully we’ll see more as time goes on.
As an easy to learn, quick to play Facebook game that’s actually social rather than “social,” Mystic Card Battle effectively hits the mark. That being said, I did find the game to be a little too simple for my tastes. Offering very little in the way of actual strategy, it's heavily dependent on luck and requires little to no thought to play.
If you’re looking for something quick to jump into with real opponents, Mystic Card Battle manages to offer a game with very few boundaries to entry and a decent amount of fun. If you’re looking for something with a fair amount of depth and strategy, though, this isn’t going to be the card game for you.
- Easy to jump into, easy to understand card game. Great art and score. Real multiplayer, rather than the standard misuse of the word "social" we see so often in Facebook gaming.
- Requires little to no strategy or skill. Card art is to small to appreciate.