Gaming CCG adventures on gba?

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Are there any enjoyable Collectible Card Games on GBA that are more than just build deck then duel? Like a story mode with adventuring and card collecting?

I'm looking something like Microprose's Magic the Gathering from year 1995, which had a compelling singleplayer where you move on land, collect/buy cards, crawling some dungeons etc. but of course won't be expecting as much.

There seems to be a bunch of Yu-Gi-Oh and Duel Masters games, so do any of those incorporate anything else than just build deck and duel?

Pokemon TCG on GBC was decent, but didn't really have any adventuring and no reasons to alter the deck after it was somewhat okay. I hoped there would be some restrictions like "I only duel if you have X of this card in your deck" or "I will only play against blue/green energy deck", but the game left me with lackluster feeling.

Or Is my only option to steer towards more action oriented semi-card games such as Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories and Megaman Battle Network?

Compelling singleplayer CCGs seem to be hard to come by even nowadays. Every CCG are either Hearthstone or MtG ripoff with micro transactions and pure online focus, or JRPG with action oriented card battles.


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
Depending upon how you want to view it then the megaman battle network series had something like this (you go around building up chip collections and arranging them into a deck), however as you say it is very much an action game. There was a spinoff in Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge but where the others are great games (at least until you play the sequels and realise you are playing the same game over and over) this was not.

For the most part though such games are rare as coding an AI to do a card game is horrendous. covers it quite nicely. If you are always going to have weak AI (especially for handhelds) you are pretty much always going to have weak games and thus nobody sensible will try coding them.

Some of the DS YuGiOh games have a dungeon crawler style setup as well. I never played the games properly but did see it when playing it enough to learn to rip some of the models. If you are on the DS and have not played Puzzle Quest then do look it up as it scratches something of the same itch for me. The DS sported another one in the form of Kousoku Card Battle - Card Hero, as did SNK vs Capcom and I think one for Marvel. Going right off then the PSP had some stuff, though I little there other than the wagic homebrew had an interesting history, Metal Gear Acid exists and Neverland Card Battles was not amazing. The DS also saw a port of Culdcept but Japan only.

I have never played it but the Gashbell card battle game is a thing, similarly Duel Masters: Shadow of The Code, and Shaman King had something. Various anime/manga franchises had this, most of them are Japan only and frankly it was not a shame that they did not make it out of it most of the time. One did get translated by hackers and while you are at it then you might also have missed the NGPC translation of the snk vs capcom card game

Deleted User

The article was nice read, especially for a programmer (though I do not work with games or AI) and was mostly as I expected.

The AI is also reason why I'd though Pokemon TCG and Microprose's Magic and others had more other things to challenge players: MtG has difficulty settings (which only affect how broken the starting deck will be, I believe), different starting lifecounts, positive/negative starting effects and the old ANTE mechanic (you get/lose random card for winning/loosing) and such. Pokemon didn't have any of those. And neither game did not implement any deck building challenges/restrictions for different enemies, which would not require AI coding. ...those would be quite easy to come up with, like the color restrictions I said, or "you gotta have this combo in your deck" or you have to win battle with this card (which needs a lot of support cards to work) or something similar.

Maybe someone can recommend which of the Yu-Gi-Oh or Duel Masters game I should try out, even if the best ones do not offer anything I'm looking for - plain deck building and learning the game could still be okay.

GBA is all I have for handheld systems, but I've been more than once thought about buying Puzzle Quest 2 from Steam.

Gotta try the Megaman Battle Network and Suikoden Card Stories too, I've actually heard about the last one (and its english translation) before, but dunno why I dismissed it back then. SNK vs Capcom card game looks really interesting too, but as it's only for neogeopocket, I have less interest playing it on an emulator.

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