The 5 Best Strategy Card Games for iPhone and iPad


Gaming has never been this much fun.

Image created by Jonathan Wylie

Looking to kill some time? Then I have the app for you!

Actually, I have five, but who’s counting? These strategy card games are some of the best ways to bust the boredom of waiting in line at the grocery store or for killing ten minutes before your next Zoom call.

Which one will be your new obsession?

1. Marvel Snap

True confession time. I might be addicted to Marvel Snap. This incredibly popular mobile game is dominating the iOS game arena, and it’s easy to see why. It’s quick and easy to learn, and there is plenty of variety to keep you coming back for more.

One of the best things about Marvel Snap is that you don’t need to know anything about the Marvel universe to enjoy it. Cards have unique abilities that are sometimes related to the characters they portray, but that’s not relevant to the gameplay.

The artwork is spectacular, you can finish a game in just three minutes, and it’s basically free to play. I mean, there are cosmetics you can buy in the store if you want them, but this is not a pay to win game.

If I didn’t have four more strategy card games to write about, I would probably be playing Marvel Snap right now. It really is that addictive.

➡️ Download Marvel Snap

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

2. UNO

Who doesn’t like a good game of UNO? I know do! This popular strategy card game has been around since 1971 and joined the Mattel corporation in 1992. The mobile app for iOS is just 4 years old, but consistently ranks at the top of the game charts for card games.

The UNO app has over 200 million users, and it’s easy to see why. It is just as entertaining on an iPhone or iPad as it is with physical cards. You can play against friends and family partner up in the 2v2 mode.

When I play UNO with my family, the kids constantly try to add a new rule halfway through the game. It’s annoying, but with the UNO mobile app, you can choose a game mode at the beginning, so everyone is on the same page, or create custom games and choose the rules you want to play.

UNO is free to play, but in-app purchases are available and will be needed if you play this game a lot.

➡️ Download UNO

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

3. Clash Royale

Clash Royale is a spin-off game that has its origins in the popular mobile game, Clash of Clans. Clash Royale removes some of the complexity and world building that you get with Clash of Clans, but it retains all the strategy and cunning that you need to succeed.

In Clash Royale, you face off against an opponent in the same league as you, with the aim of destroying their towers with your collection of character cards. Like Marvel Snap, each character has their own unique ability and can be combined with other troops to devastating effect.

The battles are quick, fun, and endlessly repeatable. You can also play for free for as long as you want, but the Royale Pass will accelerate your progress for $4.99 a month.

➡️ Download Clash Royale

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

4. Exploding Kittens

This is the digital version of the hit card game that lays claim to the most backed game in Kickstarter history. The concept is the same, but there are nice additions, like a meter that tracks the likelihood of drawing an exploding kitten.

Speaking of drawings, (ahem), the cards in the mobile version are animated and include sound to enhance the game playing experience. You can play against the computer, face-to-face with friends, or with random players online.

The game is $1.99 and if you get bored with the stock cards you can buy expansion packs for $1.99. Exploding Kittens is an irreverent take on Russian Roulette, but it’s a lot of fun when you play with others. And, at $1.99, it’s much cheaper than the boxed version.

➡️ Download Exploding Kittens

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

5. Magic: The Gathering Arena

Magic: The Gathering Arena is another example of a digital version of a physical card game. It’s a little nerdier than some of the other offerings on this list, but its popularity knows no bounds.

Regardless of whether you have played Magic before, the concept is similar to a lot of other strategy card games. Collect cards, build a deck, and take on the world! And if you are new to Magic, the in-game tutorial does a fantastic job at bringing you up to speed.

Magic: The Gathering Arena is so popular that it even has its own esports tournaments. However, if you prefer to battle with your friends or to take your chances with an online opponent, you can do that too.

There are multiple game formats like Draft and Brawl, but one of the great things about Magic is that you can build a deck to suit your style of play. If you want to crush your opponents with brute force, you can. But, if you prefer a more subtle approach that lays traps for your enemy, that is an option too.

It’s not for everyone, but once you get hooked on Magic: The Gathering Arena, it’s hard to play anything else.

➡️ Download Magic: The Gathering Arena

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

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