Does the name Richard Garfield ring a bell? No? Well, the man is responsible for creating both Magic: The Gathering, the Star Wars Trading Card Game and a ridiculous list of other less notable (but still fantastic) collectable card games and board games. Better yet, he's lending his lifetime of incredible expertise to co-creating a brand new strategy-based iOS card game called Kard Combat.

Kard Combat features a 33 battle campaign that sounds a little similar to how Duels of the Planeswalkers works in addition to single duel mode. Initially there's going to be "over 100" cards, along with "four unique mages to master." I however have a feeling that the free online multiplayer mode is going to be the star of the show.

As someone who has spent more of my life playing Magic than not playing Magic, seeing Richard Garfield involved in an iOS game is fantastic news. There's a ton of M:TG-like games on the App Store, but to someone who is familiar with lots of collectable card games, these always seem to feel half-baked and like they're borrowing mechanics from existing card games. Also, the fast development cycles and low price points of iOS games don't exactly allow for extensive testing to make sure these game are balanced as masterfully as something like Magic: The Gathering.

Like many online free to play games, Kard Combat is currently available in Canada before being unleashed to other regions. If you're a "Canadian" or an actual Canadian, give it a try. I'll be playing some battles today in preparation for a review whenever it actually goes online in the rest of the world. I've got my fingers crossed that Richard Garfield being onboard allows Kard Combat to side-step the issues other similar games have, it sure would be disappointing if it didn't.

Canadian App Store Link: Kard Combat, Free

  • Jens Alfke

    Wow, that is one seriously cheesy trailer video — all it needed was Movie Trailer Guy intoning "In a world ... where every thousand years ...". I hope the game itself is less clichéd. (The artwork on the cards does look nice.)

  • TheTurg

    MTG still is the best CCG in my opinion. But this... this just look like a glorified version of the game War you'd play as a kid with your grandmother...

  • Bikko

    I've heard that this is not as good as Orions 2.

  • Gee Lampa

    I would Crizzeam for a "Metal Gear: Ac!d" port. Best melding of cards / video gaming I've ever seen or played.

  • Zool84

    Metal Gear Acid was awesome, would love a port.
    Legends of Norrath, the TCG by Sony Computer Entertainment would kick ass too.

  • Bravado Waffle

    If Richard Garfield is involved, you can be sure it's going to be amazing.

    Interestingly enough he is also the creator for RoboRally, which our upcoming iOS game RoboArena was inspired by.

    • Gee Lampa

      Hold on.... Then GTFO... RoboRally is coming to iPhone?!? Boom!!!

      Please, oh please be sure to enable online asynchronous play!!!

      When can we expect this?

      • Bravado Waffle

        You bet we'll be including async multiplayer. Here's the forum thread:

        The game will be different from RoboRally since we didn't want to rip it off or step on any toes. But I think you will like the differences. 🙂

        Additionally, we officially have Richard Garfield's blessing on this project and he will be participating in our beta release!

  • Anonymous

    I really wish they would have taken more than 10 minutes to come up with the name..."Kard Combat"...really?

    My only guess is they are trying to play off Mortal Kombat, and the cheesy trailer seems to indicate that.

  • Amn624

    I ponied up for a Canadian iTunes card and bought the game and have played at least 10 hours since.  I can tell you the game is fun, the graphics are excellent, the music is  excellent, the sounds are excellent but I can also tell you that it does not in any way shape or form, compare favorably to Orions 2.  This is in no way to be construed as a negative for Kard Combat, but just to show you how truly awesome Orions 2 really is. 

    My only beef with KC is that there are way too many over powered and under powered cards.  When the game finally hits the US, I will offer an in depth review and thorough comparison.

    I like the game and am very happy with my purchase but cannot understand why TA says they will review KC and a month after the release of O2, have not offered the same.  O2 has an extremely active forum with over 1300 posts to date.  We're talking mad love here.  What's the deal?     

    • Blackharon

      I agree with everything said here in regards to Kard Combat. I played it for an hour, disliked the huge imbalance of cards that were in game and have deleted it. It's good for what it was, but with more play-testing it could have been so much better.

    • TheWatcher

      Anm624: you REALLY need to add a disclaimer to your posts. You were a tester for Orions, you know the develop, you've made 500 Orions posts in the forums, etc. You are not approaching this subject from neutral ground, and you need to let people know that.

      I've seen you do this sort of thing elsewhere, too. Your credibility is sinking fast.

      • Amn624

        I do not "know" the developer.  I live in NY.  He lives in Moscow.  I have called myself the world's biggest fanboy of O2 before and do not deny it.  I am also a designer and am approaching any critique with design in mind.  I think my credibility is fine. And contrary to what you imply, I am being as objective as possible.  I have no axe to grind nor skin in the game, as it were.

      • TheWatcher

        Until you start adding a disclaimer to all of the negative posts about Kard Combat you've made both here and elsewhere, your credibility is ZERO.

        Most people do not consider this an optional thing. If you tested a game or were otherwise heavily involved with it, then you absolutely MUST add a disclaimer when discussing games of a similar nature. It doesn't have to be elaborate; even a single sentence will do. But, again, it's not an optional thing.

        Thankfully, at least 95 percent of the people who do testing seem to realize this and adjust their posts accordingly. Why you do not, though, is a mystery.

      • Amn624

        Your advice is well taken.  I will do this if any comparisons are made in future comments.  Fair enough?

      • Amn624

        Btw, for anyone who entered this on the late side and saw TheWatcher refer to "all of the negative posts about Kard Combat," please allow me to reiterate - albeit out of context - my words from my initial comment here:

        "I can tell you the game is fun, the graphics are excellent, the music is  excellent, the sounds are excellent...."

        These words stand on their own quite well.

  • Shrugemoff

    It seems like a lot of fun but not that much like Magic the Gathering (which I know it's not supposed to be like but come on). I figured the in app purchases mentioned in the Canadian appstore would be packs of cards like the game Shadow Era (which is a lot like Magic the Gathering, and exactly the reason why I got it) and not purchases that have you buying the full game and extra features. 

  • Anonymous

    As someone who passively enjoyed playing Magic from time to time this is cool news to hear.  But "Kard Combat"?!!  Is this the late 70s?  Who comes up with a name like that and says, "YES! That's it. Let's go with that!"

    • Michael

      I agree. Both the name and the trailer seem to have been created in order to get some 10 year old boys excited. And, well, I hope that's not their target audience, because else we're in trouble >.>

    • Michael

      I agree. Both the name and the trailer seem to have been created in order to get some 10 year old boys excited. And, well, I hope that's not their target audience, because else we're in trouble >.>

    • Michael

      I agree. Both the name and the trailer seem to have been created in order to get some 10 year old boys excited. And, well, I hope that's not their target audience, because else we're in trouble >.>

    • Michael

      I agree. Both the name and the trailer seem to have been created in order to get some 10 year old boys excited. And, well, I hope that's not their target audience, because else we're in trouble >.>

  • Quickmixworld

    Great News 🙂

  • Jose Celestino Reyes

    nitpicking here but they might as well named it Kard Kombat for consistency ;D

    • Anonymous

      Surely you mean Konsistency? 

      • Jose Celestino Reyes

        i see what you did there 😀

  • Sexybitch

    Looks like a pretty shoddy effort. Terrible name and uncomfortable looking UI. Of course, if the core gameplay is great, it'll still be worth playing. But I wonder just how much imput that richard garfield guy had. 

  • Fokion

    That's great and all, but how about porting Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 to the iOS? You know it makes sense. Now THAT's a game that's really suitable for a touch screen.

  • Michael

    Well, that was one bad bad trailer. I don't quite like the way cards look neither - not elegant at all. If it weren't for my admiration for Richard Garfield's genius in developing for this genre, I would've probably lost my interest by now.

  • Aaron

    Don't like the name but the gameplay is good. I played it and said hey this is Spectromancer. Did a quick search and sure enough the people involved in Spectromancer are involved in Kard Combat.

  • Tokidokix

    Just to support amn624's opinion: I was surprised at how surprisingly deep Orions 2 is (although it is a bit lacking on the technical side). I am a big fan of strategic games (and especialy games similar to MtG), and so far I would consider Orions 2 the best strategy game I have played on iOS.  (and OK, I am taking the chance to proselytise here, as I heard the game did not sell extremely well, and I would love so much this game to get a sequel or good updates 🙂

    Now about "Kard Combat", I was starting to get pretty excited about this new game, but the trailer definitely lowered my expectations. Apart from its cheesiness, it seems that all cards are described by a just a set of 3 numbers. Does not seem like it will lead to very creative gameplay. I like it when most cards have special effect on top of their base statistics, as in MtG (or Orions 2, for that matter).

    • Hamish

      Hey Tokidokix.  I'm the producer on the game, and have been reading the comments here with plenty of interest.  The trailer is a teaser only, and not meant to really show too much about the game at this point. Every card does something different in the game, much like Magic, rather that just being stat-based.  All of the cards and their tuning values is something that Richard has been working on with his company, including Alexey Stankevich, over many years.  The game is a spiritual successor to Spectromancer, much in the same way that that game was a successor to Astral Tournament.  The style of play is quite different to O2 and SE, but in a way that I quite like.  While it feels like the differences between the cards are less subtle, which I actually quite like, there are often subtleties in the way that they are played, such as the order in which they are placed.  Anyway, I'll continue to be an active member here for anyone else who has any questions.

      • Tokidokix

        Thanks for the clarifications 🙂  That's cool. I am looking forward to try it then 🙂

  • Odyus

    Hi Hamish,
    Would this game play like Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012?

    Also, any idea why you guys just don't Duels 2012 over to iOS/Android?

  • Naxoo

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    I recomand you to join and add me as a sponsor 🙂

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