A good number of people are familiar with Fullmetal Alchemist, whether they’ve actually watched it or not. As far as anime goes, it’s kind of a big-name series. And unlike other popular series (*cough* Dragon Ball Z *cough*) it’s actually good. The story of the Elric brothers has seen a number of adaptations and spin-offs, so it was only a matter of time before one of those spin-offs got its own game.
FMA Battle is a relatively new collectible card game based on the “less old” Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series. Calling it a spin-off, however, isn’t entirely accurate. The original show followed the manga (a.k.a the source material) up until about the halfway mark, then went off and did its own thing. Brotherhood sticks to the script, so to speak. So technically, the original anime series was actually a spin-off. Confusing, no?
Getting away from semantics and back to the game at-hand, FMA Battle is a free-to-play CCG set in the FMA universe. Players will construct their deck and customize a team of three alchemists while continually dueling with others online. Cards/characters will gain experience as they’re used, earning new abilities as they get incrementally stronger. Of course, this is a freemium game, so deck expansion is limited unless players are willing to pony up some actual cash to buy new cards.
Free online multiplayer. Collectible cards. Fullmetal Alchemist. I think it’s safe to assume this will find its niche pretty fast. If it sounds interesting, then why not check it out? It’s currently on the App Store, and as I’ve previously stated (repeatedly) it’s free.
Single-player card games and portable devices, especially phones, have always seemed to be a perfect match. There’s just something inherently right about shuffling cards around on a phone (or something of relatively similar dimensions) during the morning commute. And honestly, a game doesn’t get much more accessible than solitaire, right?
Of course, there isn’t just one kind of solitaire. At least, not anymore. Sprightly Software has provided App Store users with their own rendition of a variant called Golf Solitaire, in which players have nine rounds in which to clear a field of 35 cards. This is done by drawing a card from the bottom deck, then taking cards from the field that are one number higher or lower (i.e. 3-4-3-2-3-4-5-etc…).
The new 1.2 update has added a few Game Center achievements and a single hole mode for an even quicker on-the-go experience. Just in case this quirky little solo card game with golf-styled sound effects sounds appealing, it’s available right now on the App Store for $1.99.
Lots of genres are a bit over-saturated on the App Store, and card games are no exception. Combination card and fighting games, however, are few and far between. Aware of this deficiency, Hothead Games has seen fit to release Kard Combat this week. For the low low price of nothing.
Granted it’s still more of a card game than a fighter; players choose from a handful of different mages with a few unique cards in their collection, matches involve planning and strategy as opposed to quick reflexes and so on. The fighting aspects have more to do with the brevity of each match and their one-on-one nature. It utilizes a slightly less complex version of the “line of cards” system some are no doubt familiar with, in which each user lines up their cards while any unopposed summons will do direct damage to the opposing player. Naturally, some cards have special effects that can create some interesting strategies.
Players can try out each of the four types of mages (Holy, Death, Machine and Dominator), as well as the Single Duel and multiplayer modes, for free. Full access to a single mage’s campaign will require an in-app purchase of one dollar, while unlocking all four will cost three. And for any players interested in diving straight in to the multiplayer stuff, everything (all cards, etc…) can be unlocked for ten dollars. Bear in mind that the cards can eventually be unlocked through diligent play, and that the ten dollar purchase is only necessary for those who don’t want to “waste time” with the singleplayer campaign.
There are plenty of card games on the App Store, but Crack Cards, described by its creators as a kind of “backwards solitaire,” has quickly won fans after being featured as a “New & Noteworthy” app. The other thing that makes it unique? Crack Cards wasn’t developed by just anyone. Rather, it’s the creation of the advanced computers class at Thurgood Marshall Middle School.
Ryan Longnecker, an 8th grade teacher at Thurgood Marshall, said he turned to game development after realizing that traditional lessons about PowerPoint and word processing “just couldn’t keep the kids engaged.” So, he started branching out into web design and game creation. “Game design is one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever taught,” he writes. “Trying to keep everyone on the same page is nearly impossible, but the kids LOVE it and you see them light up when they walk in to the computer lab.”
Crack Cards, created as a class-wide effort, is the fruit of those lessons. Mr. Longnecker says that it’s based off of a game he played in his own childhood. The game’s rules are pretty simple. Four cards are dealt out each turn, and if any two cards share a suit, the lower can be removed from the game. This continues until there are no more moves available, and then four more cards can be dealt; the game ends when either there are no more moves or when only the aces are left. But while playing the game is simple, winning is a much more difficult proposition. The game’s description dares players to look past the luck to find the strategy.
For now, the game is single-player (apt, considering its similarity to solitaire) but the app’s description promises future updates with a Versus mode. Perhaps that’s the class’s next project!
The 8th grade advance computers class at Thurgood Marshall Middle School should be proud of their work—Crack Cards looks like a fun twist on the usual solitaire variations, and beyond that, creating an iPhone app is no small feat. I wish my AP Computer Science class in high school had worked on projects this interesting!
Crack Cards is available for $0.99 on the App Store.
Who feels like doing math when playing card games? Games that include score-keeping, especially complicated or high scoring games, can sometimes go unplayed because of a lack of interest in any of the players to keep score. Even with a calculator handy, score-keeping can still be a time-consuming process that adds boring breaks between rounds.
I was about to sit down and play Rook yesterday (a card game that involves score-keeping) and decided to see if there was “an app for that” on the iPad. I came across Score This by Roxo Designs.
I was searching for a specific Rook scoring app, but I found one that can be customized to play for most card games with scoring. Score This has a list of options to pick before starting a game: if the higher or lowest is the winner, starting score, whether or not the game includes bidding (like Rook), and the players. Score This also keeps track of player stats (percentage of wins).
Score This goes for $1.99 for the iPad. No iPhone version exists yet.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted August 9th, 2010 by Brian Hudson Our Rating: :: SOLID SOLITAIRE
If you’re looking for a good solitaire game, then Solitaire Classics is worth your time. It delivers a realistic presentation and some of the most popular varieties of solitaire, though it is a bit too light in terms of bells and whistles.
Posted July 28th, 2010 by Ryan Wood Our Rating: :: UPDATED
Set Pro HD, while being good in theory, executes poorly in this overly simplistic card game. A multi-player mode that's sure to put your iPad in danger only helps to increase the disinterest I have in this game.
A new expansion pack is now available for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. The Desolations of Smaug is available for free and features new campaign maps and bosses for players to strategize against, along with new armor and weapons for them to collect and equip.