Card Wars - Adventure Time Review

By , on February 20, 2014
Last modified 7 years, 11 months ago

Card Wars - Adventure Time Card Game
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Good use of the Adventure Time licence
  • Solid CCG with some nice twists


  • Energy system is an unnecessary way to leverage in-app purchases


A solid CCG, Card Wars – Adventure Time unfortunately undermines itself with poor implementation of its in-app purchases.

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Cartoon Network has taken the inspiration for Card Wars – Adventure Time from a card game seen in the cult cartoon. But, while its reflexive self-referencing makes our heads hurt, it manages to be a fairly decent  customisable card game - with one major caveat.

The basics will be familiar to CCG fans: you use cards to summon creatures to fight for you, in an effort to reduce your opponent's health to zero.

The set up stage sees you laying terrain down across four lanes. These can be anything from Blackened Swamps to the Pink Nicelands, and dictate what creatures you can summon.

Creatures associated with a terrain type conform to a specific tactic or ability. Some will have healing powers, while others will dish out meaty attacks. So, when building a deck, tactical terrain and card choice is vital to ensure maximum compatibility.

Both players are dealt seven cards from their deck. Cards can be creatures, buildings, or spells. Each card costs magic to cast, with each turn limited by the magic points available.

Assuming you balance your deck correctly, you should have one creature in each lane to provide your attacks and defence. Other cards provide a variety of one-time uses and persistent buffs that can easily swing the tide of battle.

So far, so good. The fundamentals are there, and the aesthetic and voice acting do a great job of capturing the feel of the TV show.

Things get less rosy when the in-app purchases rear their heads. The game is already a premium experience, costing £2.49 / $3.99. Though fans of CCGs will be familiar with paying for cards, Cartoon Network has taken a slightly different route here.

The game's main currency, gems, can be used for everything: from expanding your card storage to paying for energy to play the game you've already paid for. In hours of playing, this only actually proved a problem once, but the principle remains offensive when each gem costs 69p / 99c.

Card Wars – Adventure Time is a good CCG and nice piece of fan service. But, as a premium game title, its in-app purchases seem invasively implemented, something which ultimately undermines the experience.


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theanimaster 7 years, 10 months ago

I have to disagree with the score on this. It's a great game! I've been playing for hours last night -- past my "bedtime" and never had to make any IAPs -- not one.

The thing people aren't "getting" about IAPs is that they're there for money -- but a lot of them don't detract from the fun of the game. They're for people who are impatient and want to 'cheat' their way through the game. Otherwise it's not like you absolutely NEED to purchase the IAPs to play the game -- unless you're thinking of playing for a couple days non-stop!

The downside of this game is its hefty price. I think for what it's worth content-wise this should be around $1.99-3.99 ... not $4.99. Still, if this means future updates and support, then that's cool.

VideoJames 7 years, 10 months ago

It's a premium game with an energy system.

A premium game. With an energy system.

TheAspieFox 7 years, 10 months ago

Premium game... Energy system... BAD.

Games... IAPs... USUALLY BAD.

jeffyg3 7 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, you might have had something about some IAP for some games, but like the others...ENERGY SYSTEM...that is code for avoid at all cost. It's such a shame. Adventure time and a card battling system...should have been something special, now completely ruined by a horrid IAP system. They should have just tried getting Playdeck to make their card battling game, maybe it wouldn't have needed up with such a disgusting IAP system

Yorker 7 years, 10 months ago

Cartoon Network is a big firm. But they have to make better games!

TheAspieFox 7 years, 10 months ago

Tell that to EA first.

Yorker 7 years, 10 months ago

Thanks a lot :3

TheAspieFox 7 years, 11 months ago

It's a shame I'll have to give this one a miss, solely because of the IAP push. I wanted to finally have a game me and my girlfriend can play together that isn't Mancala (I'm impartial to what we play, but she's picky-- especially because she doesn't like many games).