2K Sports must love having the WWE video game license all to itself. With the upcoming WWE 2K15 turning people's heads, it's a great time to be a wrestling game fan. 2K didn't want to just leave us with that, however, as they launched a tiny card-battle game, WWE SuperCard, for free on mobile platforms. As I expected from a free game, there's not too much depth here, but I have to admit SuperCard became awfully addictive in a short amount of time.
The premise is simple: I had to build a deck of four Superstars, one Diva, and two Support cards. Each of the Superstar and Diva cards have four stats: Power, Toughness, Speed, and Charisma, and Support Cards are used in-battle to provide temporary buffs to those stats. Once my deck was as good as I'd get it (and as my first Rare was Justin Gabriel, it was hard to be truly confident), I had two options: Exhibition and King of the Ring. Exhibition pits me against a single AI opponent for a quick match, while King of the Ring is a round-robin series of simulated matches over a period of time with prizes of varying rarity given to participants at the end.
Exhibition matches are fast, and within two hours I had already posted a 41-9 record in 50 matches. They play out in a "best of three" series of bouts with each bout taking one of three types: Solo, Tag Team, or Diva. Winners are determined by specific card stats named before the bout starts: for example, a Solo match focusing on Power and Speed asks me for one card to match Power and Speed against another. Simple, to the point, and after a while monotonous. Though monotony does take a toll after extended play, the speed of each Exhibition makes SuperCard a perfect pick-up-and-play type of game.
What started as an easy and quick card game gained a lot of depth in the training and combining mechanic. I found I was constantly tweaking cards, training and combining and adding Support cards to make the perfect lineup to take into battle. Each Exhibition gives me more cards, which then sends me back into the deck editor for more tinkering. Just when I think the deck is unstoppable, I get smashed by one of the AI wrestlers and go back in for more adjustments. For the wrestling fan that dabbles in the gaming world, SuperCard is just what the doctor ordered.
One thing does stick in my craw, however: the micro-transaction system. I'm not naive enough to think a free download wouldn't have one, but the pricing makes no sense. $1.99 for 200 Credits (used to purchase cards, pick extra cards after Exhibitions, etc) establishes a one-cent-per-Credit system. $4.99 for 600 Credits make sense, packaging 100 extra Credits for spending the extra money. However, the next level is $24.99 for 2500 Credits, which makes zero sense. Why would anyone spend $25 once on 2500 Credits when they can spend $5 five times for 3000? The final level, 6500 Credits for $49.99, is better, but I feel like even that would be a better deal if the third level made more sense. Micro-transactions are fine if the model makes sense, but that's just not the case here.
WWE SuperCard pales in complexity to card games like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, but there's enough here to keep the wrestling fan engaged and the game player interested for quite a while. Building decks is fun, watching the cards wrestle is weird yet cool. Seeing the faces of wrestlers new and old on the cards as I collect them is great, as you never know who will come at you next. For a free game, and despite the weird micro-transaction pricing, WWE SuperCard has a lot to offer, and it's definitely worth a download for those looking for quick fun.
This review is based on a download of WWE SuperCard for iOS.