CDE Humble Gaming was at WWDC 2010 showing of their upcoming trading card game Arena 9. Game developer and long-time Magic: The Gathering player Jeff Lyndon described how they were trying to create an iPhone suitable experience for a collectible card game.

High amongst their priorities was an accessible game that was easy to learn, but also one that didn't overwhelmingly advantage those who had simply collected better cards. The game revolves around a collectible cards that are earned by the user. An initial set is provided, but over time, new cards can be collected by earning in game experience or through in-app purchase. Cards are organized into 5 card decks that you can take into battle.

Battle will primarily be on-line against live opponents. While single-player (offline) mode does exist, it's primarily intended for practice and training as experience points aren't earned.

Battle is waged on a 3x3 grid. Each player's hands is in plain view to the other player, and cards are placed on the grid in alternating turns. The goal is to win as many cards as possible by "turning" opponents cards to your own. The initial rules are simple. If the adjacent number on your the card is higher than the opponent's number when side-by-side, then you turn the other card to your own. Additional rules, however, such as lining up same numbers on two sides or surrounding an opponents card with similar elementals can act as special moves. In addition, the board also has randomly placed elemental-marked tiles that either enhance or detract from a card's power if placed on that space.

Each battle should take about 3-4 minutes and a matchmaking system tries to match you with a comparable opponent. The game is expected to launch during the first week of July and will be free for the base game. Additional cards can be purchased in packs or can simply be earned with enough experience points and wins.

  • lurker

    Basically, it's Triple Triad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=264wi-_Yxmw

  • lurker

    Basically, it's Triple Triad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=264wi-_Yxmw

  • Mondae

    Is trading between players implemented in the game. That is a major part of a collectable card game.

  • Mondae

    Is trading between players implemented in the game. That is a major part of a collectable card game.

  • Matt

    sounds kind of lame

  • Matt

    sounds kind of lame

  • Wes

    Is that Falcoon (ex-SNKP) artwork?

  • Wes

    Is that Falcoon (ex-SNKP) artwork?

  • Steven

    Smells like Triple Triad...

  • Steven

    Smells like Triple Triad...

  • Imhullu

    This is just triple triad, how lame, can't even mash up something a little more unique.

  • Imhullu

    This is just triple triad, how lame, can't even mash up something a little more unique.

  • Marcus

    Reminds me of the Final Fantasy 8 Card system

    • Stephen

      I would love for Square Enix to release a game that are exact replica's of the mini games in the Final Fantasy Series...especially 7 and 8.

  • Marcus

    Reminds me of the Final Fantasy 8 Card system

    • Stephen

      I would love for Square Enix to release a game that are exact replica's of the mini games in the Final Fantasy Series...especially 7 and 8.

  • Jaegunn

    Yessssssssssssss finally someone makes a triple triad knock off! Cause god knows square is never going to relese a triple triad game, and that was one of the best mini games ever! Too bad the card art is not as nice as final fantasy or magic, etc. But I look forward to this! Hopefully they don't butcher it too much but it looks good.
    Who knows! Card grid games like triple triad and sword and poker could be the new tower defense of mini games!

    • http://soiled.com Gload

      How do you KNOW that? Square has only recently been trying to make REAL games for this platform (everything before Chaos Rings was gutter trash).

  • Jaegunn

    Yessssssssssssss finally someone makes a triple triad knock off! Cause god knows square is never going to relese a triple triad game, and that was one of the best mini games ever! Too bad the card art is not as nice as final fantasy or magic, etc. But I look forward to this! Hopefully they don't butcher it too much but it looks good.
    Who knows! Card grid games like triple triad and sword and poker could be the new tower defense of mini games!

    • http://soiled.com Gload

      How do you KNOW that? Square has only recently been trying to make REAL games for this platform (everything before Chaos Rings was gutter trash).

  • HistorySchol

    Children's card games...

    (10 points to anyone who spots the reference)

    • http://soiled.com Gload

      A dog

      10 points who ever gets this reference as well...

      Try something less ambigious and memorable dude...

  • HistorySchol

    Children's card games...

    (10 points to anyone who spots the reference)

    • http://soiled.com Gload

      A dog

      10 points who ever gets this reference as well...

      Try something less ambigious and memorable dude...

  • Cookies

    It looks like the "tetra monster" game from Final Fantasy IX.

  • Cookies

    It looks like the "tetra monster" game from Final Fantasy IX.

  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto

    SVC Card Battle copy? They even shameslessly copied Falcoon's illustrations.

    Sad. Why do iPhone devs are so disgusting?

  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto

    SVC Card Battle copy? They even shameslessly copied Falcoon's illustrations.

    Sad. Why do iPhone devs are so disgusting?

  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto

    Some of the art is even TRACED from Falcoon. Pathetic.

  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto

    Some of the art is even TRACED from Falcoon. Pathetic.

  • Phreakuency

    Square need to show them how it's done...

  • Phreakuency

    Square need to show them how it's done...

  • lurker

    Everything makes sense now. They're based off from China. No wonder they have such a catalog of shit games.

    How hilarious.

  • lurker

    Everything makes sense now. They're based off from China. No wonder they have such a catalog of shit games.

    How hilarious.

  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto
  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto
  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto

    http://img.slidetoplay.com/20100612/Arena_9_10.jpg

    copied from

    http://orochinagi.com/wpg2?g2_itemId=12806

    every single image is copied. shame Falcoon has thousands of images and it's hard to go through them all.

  • http://www.betomachado.com Beto

    http://img.slidetoplay.com/20100612/Arena_9_10.jpg

    copied from

    http://orochinagi.com/wpg2?g2_itemId=12806

    every single image is copied. shame Falcoon has thousands of images and it's hard to go through them all.

  • matt

    YES!! Triple triad is fun!

    If it has some kind of "play for keeps" card system, this will definitely take off!

    I remember winning a 32 player triple triad tournament online like 8 years ago or something on balamb garden - the palace..

    How fun. :D

  • matt

    YES!! Triple triad is fun!

    If it has some kind of "play for keeps" card system, this will definitely take off!

    I remember winning a 32 player triple triad tournament online like 8 years ago or something on balamb garden - the palace..

    How fun. :D

  • Amy

    1. Jeff Lyndon is quoted as a dev. He knows M:TG, and he knows CCGs.

    2. This is a complete copy of Triple Triad.

    3. This is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of better cards = wins. There is only a small amount of strategy. 90% of the game is having better cards.

    This doesn't make sense.

    • psyc

      There is a lot of strategy in Triple Triad if you include a lot of the regions rules not just the OPEN rule.

  • Amy

    1. Jeff Lyndon is quoted as a dev. He knows M:TG, and he knows CCGs.

    2. This is a complete copy of Triple Triad.

    3. This is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of better cards = wins. There is only a small amount of strategy. 90% of the game is having better cards.

    This doesn't make sense.

    • psyc

      There is a lot of strategy in Triple Triad if you include a lot of the regions rules not just the OPEN rule.

  • blackHorse

    I want to have fun naked with the game's ladies, oh yeah!

  • blackHorse

    I want to have fun naked with the game's ladies, oh yeah!

  • Kia

    This looks like completely epic fail. Ripped off art, a Triple Triad clone, and pretty much zero real strategy whatsoever. Here I was foolishly getting my hopes up. -_-

  • Kia

    This looks like completely epic fail. Ripped off art, a Triple Triad clone, and pretty much zero real strategy whatsoever. Here I was foolishly getting my hopes up. -_-

  • rsct

    i wish the grid was bigger. in fact, i wish it was tetra master. oh gosh i wish i can find the plugs to my ps so i can play ffix again.

  • rsct

    i wish the grid was bigger. in fact, i wish it was tetra master. oh gosh i wish i can find the plugs to my ps so i can play ffix again.

  • barbicoh

    It's the FF8 mini card game clone!

  • barbicoh

    It's the FF8 mini card game clone!