What has always fascinated me about the colorful kid-focused card game Yu-Gi-Oh! has been the way the card statistics morph with each new skill and spell introduced to the play field. Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM captures the essence of that numerical dance in a fast paced Facebook game.
Frima Studio has taken the traditional five-card-wide Yu-Gi-Oh! playing field, dropped it down to three-cards, trimmed a convoluted series of game rounds down to two — setup and battle — and doing so has created a card-battling experience perfect for Facebook. It's a card game perfect for those short on time or attention. Set your monsters, drop in some spells, and hit the central "BAM" button to see the round play out.
Elements of deck-building and card collection are still in place. You can create custom decks using cards purchased using several different types of in-game currency or won while progressing through the game's story mode. You can challenge folks on your friends list to quick AI-powered duels or enlist their aid against powerful enemies. You can even buy ridiculously strong power-ups to help you breeze through opponents as if they weren't even there.
For all its simplicity, Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM still manages to maintain some depth for players so inclined. Deck construction favors creating complicated combos of boosts and drains. In a duel with a powerful player, hitting the "BAM" button sets off a prolonged sequence in which all of the creatures of the screen lose and gain power until reaching their final combat strengths. If you take the time to read the card descriptions you might even be able to follow what's going on.
But for me Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM is the perfect quick card fix. I probably won't build a deck. I probably won't progress particularly far in the game at all, but I'll keep coming back to watch those statistics fly madly about the screen, letting them land where they will.
Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM [Facebook]