What an Astoundingly Clever Way to Play Tekken

There are some incredibly sharp people out there who would truly enjoy playing Namco Bandai fighter Tekken competitive online, but lack the skills necessary to prevail against the lightning-fast reflexes of their peers. Tekken Card Tournament is the game for them.

I nearly called this "The Thinking Man's Tekken Game," but that would suggest that only stupid people play the regular version, and that's not the case. It takes a quick, keen mind to anticipate the movements of a seasoned opponent, a mind capable of making strategic decisions in milliseconds.

I do not have such a mind. I've tried to develop it, but I'm not sure the potential even exists. Give me five seconds to make a decision, however, and I become dangerous. This morning I won my first online Tekken match in *does some quick* ever, thanks to the simple and elegant Tekken Card Tournament.

Tekken Card Tournament re-imagines the franchise's fighting system as a quick and dirty card game. Each round there are only three choices to make &mdash focus, strike or block. Focus adds an attack card from the player's deck to their hand. Strike activates the in-hand cards, hitting the opponent for the amount of damage listed, the moves playing out on-screen as they would in Tekken proper. Block cancels out their opponents' first two attack cards. The player that loses all of their health first loses.

In essence this is a numbers game. If the opponent has enough attack to knock you on your ass, you block. If you can take the punishment, you focus and increase your attack. The ideal situation is having a stacked hand after your opponent has spent all of his or her attack. Do they block your attack? Focus and start rebuilding? You can almost feel them squirming.

Free-to-play today on iOS, Android and in your web browser, Tekken Card Tournament, doesn't sidestep the common problems with games of its ilk. Amassing more powerful cards will likely come down to spending the most money in the game's store, so there's a bit of a play-to-win vibe going.

What an Astoundingly Clever Way to Play Tekken

Some might consider this a downside, but I look at it as a challenge. Sure, their cards might have larger numbers on them, but that just makes bringing them down more satisfying. And who knows, with a card fusion mechanic and an in-game trading marketplace, maybe the most powerful cards aren't as unattainable as they seem. I plan on waiting for the physical cards to hit stores this summer, so I don't feel quite as silly about spending the cash.

Having spent years suffering defeat at the hands of total strangers, I've finally tasted victory. Tekken Card Tournament is a treat for slower, more thoughtful fighting game fan.

Tekken Card Tournament

  • Genre:Card Battles
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Platform: iOS, Android, Web
  • Price: Free
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