Review: Tekken Card Tournament

Release Date
4th April 2013 (Original), 7th January 2015 (Version 3.0)
Amazon, Android, iOS, PC (Web browsers)
Fighting, Cards

The Tekken franchise has maintained a strong presence in the fighting game scene for many years across different generations of consoles. Taking steps into the mobile market with Tekken Card Tournament, a free-to-play turn-based card game like no other! With the recent update which is Version 3.0, the Tekken franchise is set to take the mobile world by force.

The game is a mash-up between the usual beat-em-up style and the collectable card game genre, you start out with a set amount of money to purchase a basic set of cards for whatever character you like, Hwoarang has always been a personal favourite of mine. After picking your character and playing the tutorial you’re free to explore the rest of the game, on the main screen you can choose between Online and Solo Modes, My Cards and Shop. The online modes include PvP battle and various tournaments to compete in whereas the solo modes include Arcade and a Campaign, with 50 different and unique challenges to test your skill and strategy with more being added as each update rolls out. Spin-off mobiles titles are generally doomed to be just a throwaway title in their respective series, thankfully this title is an exception. Boasting a large selection of modes to go along with an equally large roster of characters and deck customisation available to you. This game certainly packs in a lot of content for a free-to-play mobile game, where pay-to-win is usually the formula for similar titles this game definitely stands out amongst the crowd.

Battles are fought by using your deck and working out a decent strategy to defeat your opponent, you have three different options available to you during your turn; Focus, Strike and Block. Focus allows you to draw a card, Strike allows you to strike your opponent and Block obviously means to block your opponents attack. In order to hurt your opponent, your cards will first attack their cards and then their HP, sounds simple but strategy really does play a major role in this game. Each card has various abilities with new cards available to purchase as booster packs from the shop. When your turn is over you’ll be able to see what your opponent has chosen, this is where a good strategy comes into play. Focusing a lot may increase the number of cards your holding, but you’re at risk of losing them quickly if your opponent attacks first. Striking too early may mean not damaging your opponent at all and blocking continuously puts you at a disadvantage as you can’t gain more cards and are even at risk of losing your current cards as a penalty. While appearing quite easy at first glance, after a few battles in the campaign you’ll soon come to realise how a good strategy is very important. Thankfully this makes for a much more enjoyable playing experience as the visuals accompanying the battles at great, plus the feeling of accomplishment when clearing a particularly difficult stage-filling you with the urge to plough through the rest.

While this game contains elements of a CCG and has been advertised as such, it has to be said that it’s not a conventional CCG. Type in CCG into any App Store and you will be bombarded with endless CCG games that follow the same gameplay and layout. Tekken takes the CCG genre and really turns it around to make it their own, collecting cards through buying boosters and creating a powerful deck is still the key to success but the way in which the cards are utilised in battle really set the game part. The game also includes the awesome feature being able to add physical Tekken Card Tournament cards to your digital deck.

The recent Version 3.0 update is no mere bug fix but more of an expansion that includes:
- New Character: Jin joins the fight. He transforms into Devil Jin with special cards!
- New Tag feature available with up to 9 cards for the support character deck
- New Achievement System: 80+ achievements to unlock
- Improved Shop: new booster packs, new offers
Tekken is a mainstay in the beat-em-up genre and continues to maintain a strong presence on the console market. Making the jump to mobiles/tablets Tekken Card Tournament is a unique blend of beat-em-up fighting and collectable card games. Not content to pump out a sub-par clone that seems to be the trend these days, Bandai Namco has really outdone themselves by creating a deep strategy based game that doesn't detract from the Tekken franchise.