Rooster Teeth has partnered with indie dev house 80Arcade to create a card game based on its popular RWBY property, aptly named RWBY Deckbuilding Game. The game is a cross-platform experience between Android, iOS, and PC, and offers a quick and intuitive experience that has less of a learning curve than most popular card games.
In RWBY Deckbuilding Game, you have a mostly fixed deck from your collection of cards, but it's augmented by signature cards, determined by which hero you choose. Matches are all based around power and stars. Your power is generated by the cards you put on the field, then reset each turn. You use it to buy cards to put in your deck. The cards you can buy, meanwhile, are mostly randomized. When you get enough power in one turn, you can also defeat an enemy hero.
Defeating heroes and playing cards with star points assigned will give you stars. Stars cannot be spent, and are permanent throughout a match. The round is decided by who has more stars after a set number of turns. Your goal, essentially, is to build up power to gather stars by buying star-studded cards to play and knocking around your enemy's heroes.
The game is ad-free and features in-app purchases, a monetization model that's somehow still becoming more common despite already being ubiquitous. They're generally on the cheap side, value-wise, and allow you to purchase more cards, field and card customizers, and other goodies. There are also many modes to play. You can play online, have a quick match with AI, go into a multiplayer raid against a tough boss, or go into Relic Adventure mode to unlock more powerful cards, just to name a few.
RWBY Deckbuilding Game has a number of unique factors, but all the same, has progenitors to thank for many of the conventions that drive it. This writer was most reminded of the card battling mini-game present in Sony PlayStation classic RPG Digimon World 3, but there were also certainly similarity's to other card games.
The Witcher's in-universe Gwent card game, Hearthstone, and other character-based card battlers seemed to be prominent influences. There is a basic energy system, for example, that is used to take certain actions like enhancing cards, and that evoked the Pokemon Trading Card Game's elemental energy system.
As far as mobile gaming goes, RWBY Deckbuilding Game is more than different enough from other games out there to warrant a try. All the same, its competitive and cooperative modes are likely to foster a strong community. With that being the case, while the game is unlikely to dethrone any of its contemporaries in popularity or eSports potential, it is a very nice companion to the RWBY universe and makes a good card game on its own merits.
Its ease in learning and starting up makes it good for players who aren't normally into card games, while its multitude of modes and potential depth of strategy make it a great fit for veteran card players who've seen all there is to see in the scene. Whatever the case, if you're into RWBY or card games, or you're curious about card battlers and want to give the genre a shot, this one is worth a try and you can download it here.