Teppen is somewhat of a surprise on mobile: a card battler that actually tries something new. After countless Hearthstone and Clash Royale clones, we were ready to write the genre off on mobile as devoid of innovation. Then Teppen came along. At first glance, you’ll draw parallels between Teppen and the likes of Clash Royale and Hearthstone, but it’s so much more than the sum of its parts.

The base gameplay will take some getting used to. You have three lanes on which you can place cards. Cards take two forms: units, which can be heroes or standard troops, and ability cards. Place a hero unit down and they’ll repeatedly attack your enemy until they fall.

The opposing player can also place cards in one of the three lanes. If a card is placed in the opposing lane of another card, they’ll attack each other. If the lane is empty, you’ll attack the opposing hero. Playing a card costs MP, which recharges slowly throughout the battle – much like it does in Clash Royale. Managing this is a huge part of the battle.

When a card attacks, the other card can counter. These battles play out until one card is destroyed, and each card has its own defence and attack rating. Balancing playing cards that can defend successfully against the opposition while also giving you an MP advantage will likely be a huge part of the strategy discussion for months to come.

Teppen is a Rarity on Mobile: A Card Battler That Tries to Innovate

Then there are ability cards, which are a lot like spells in Clash Royale. Whenever you use an ability card, your opponent will get an opportunity to counter it before its used. This leads to many interesting moments. An ability card could be used to heal an opponent and you could counter the card with a higher damage dealing ability card, rendering the heal completely useless.

As you play cards, you’ll build up AP, which can be used to unleash your hero’s signature move. These may destroy a single enemy card of your choice, heal or support your own cards, or perform a variety of other actions. You’ll want to take a glance at all of the available signature moves to decide which hero best adapts to your play style.

Each hero in the game is based on a genuine Capcom property too. You’ve got heroes from Street Fighter, Monster Hunter, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Mega Man X, and more. To unlock a hero for use in multiplayer, you have to play through their solo story, which are pretty nonsensical and come across as fan fiction but you can’t have everything.

You can craft cards or purchase them from the shop to unlock them for use in your deck. We can’t speak to the pay to win of the title, as we haven’t played it for long enough. You also get showered with rewards pretty regularly during your first few hours, but we’d expect that to dry up. Ultimately, given that you can purchase cards from the shop using real cash, there’s no way to discount pay to win being a part of this.

Overall, We’re Pretty Impressed With What Teppen Has to Offer

Once you’ve created your deck you can use it in online ranked battles, the Grand Prix – an elimination-style mode, or in a practice mode to perfect using it. There aren’t many modes, but there’s pretty much everything you’re looking for in a card battler.

Overall, we’re pretty impressed so far with Teppen. It’s going to take some getting used to as it does offer a style of gameplay we’re not familiar with, but it feels fresh and exciting in a way that card battlers have struggled to ever since Hearthstone made it big. We’re also huge fans of the presentation, which is pretty stellar, and the inclusion of genuine Capcom properties is very welcome indeed. A good start for this new card battler.