If you’re looking for a deep, tactical CCG that’s dripping with bright ideas, unique concepts and refreshingly fast battles, you could do a lot worse than checking out Athenion: Tactical CCG. It’s a huge experience that’s easy to pick up and super-tough to master.

The scraps here take place on a gridded board. Every turn you place cards onto the board. Those cards have arrows on them, which show the direction the units they represent can attack. There are other details on the cards too, showing you how strong their attack will be, the number of hits they can take and the soul power they’ll grant your main character.

That soul power is important, because it’s the only way you can attack your opponent’s leader. The first player to knock the opposition’s HP down to zero using those soul attacks is the winner.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the game than that. There are six different factions for you to pick from, and each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some let you link together cards to give them extra powers, others focus on units that give off auras to buff and debuff.

You’re going to want to experiment with them all to find the one that suits your style of play best. And once you’ve picked one the experimentation isn’t over. You can build your own decks to take online to fight other players and craft cards to further customise the weapons at your disposal.

The battles here feel like a mix between Hearthstone and a turn-based strategy battler. You don’t just need to think about the cards you’re going to play, you need to think about where they’re going to go and the effects they’re going to have when you play them. Every move needs careful consideration, and you need to know your deck inside out if you want to succeed.

And here’s the thing – you will want to succeed. Athenion pushes you to get better, to learn from your mistakes and to refine your strategies. There’s no room for sloppy play, and your opponents will be only too happy to punish your mistakes.

The more you play the more you’ll start to understand the game and the more you’ll want to experiment. You’ll need to figure out effective tactics to use against different opponents, balance attack with defence and make sure that you’re not leaving yourself open to the powers of the other factions.

While the matches are short and sharp, you need to be paying attention to every moment and thinking of possible attacks and counter-attacks you can play to give yourself the advantage. There isn’t much room for casual play here, so if you’re looking for a soft mobile game you’d be better off searching elsewhere.

Above and beyond the tight gameplay, you’ll find a massive raft of content, from events to challenges, achievements to different modes. There’s always something to do, and every time you login you won’t have long to wait to jump into an online fight.

Check out Athenion: Tactical CCG for yourself via the App Store (and Google Play).

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A tactical masterclass
A tactical masterclass
Athenion: Tactical CCG has loads to offer, it's presented in a gorgeous package and it's going to leave you severely addicted if it gets its claws into you