The title’s core elements are MMO, magic systems, a “Harry Potter” feel, and a turn-based combat system. It’s what we’re looking for in games like Wizard101.
The 2008 MMORPG is thrilling and offers tactical combat that most online games don’t. And yet, it has issues. You may know it’s free, but it has clear paywalls blocking content that was available before.
So, let’s check other card titles you could play to continue your tactical experience.
Magic: The Gathering Arena
- Developer: Wizards Digital Game Studio
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
- Release Date: September 2019
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
MTG Arena is a free-to-play digital version of the classical card game. So, it’s a collectible card game with complex turn-based combat. Here, though, you can play against other players or the PC.
The action is very akin to Wizard101. Imagine you’re a “summoner” of creatures, spells, buffs, debuffs, and similar. You win by depleting the enemy’s HP, but you can only hurt the enemy if he has no creatures on the grid.
The unique mechanic is how land cards generate different types of mana. Then, you summon creatures, cast spells, or activate effects and abilities with that mana.
- Developer: Daniel Mullins Games
- Publisher: Developer Digital
- Release Date: October 2021
- Platform: Windows
Inscryption is a rogue-like card collector and deck-building game. You play as a vlogger who found a game known as “Inscryption,” which holds many secrets. The experience mixes the vlogger’s “found footage” with first-person turn-based combat with cards.
The tone of the game is eerie, scary, and dreadful. The combat is challenging, fast, and features little guidance to the player. In essence, cards have HP and attack values, and you can deplete the enemy’s HP when there’re no enemy cards on the field.
However, the mechanics evolve and change with each act, and there’re additional puzzles to challenge your progression. Because of the setting, the creative gameplay, and the dynamic mechanics, many people recommend Inscryption as a must-play experience.
Slay the Spire
- Developer: MegaCrit
- Publisher: Humble Bundle
- Release Date: January 2019
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Slay The Spire blends rogue-like titles and single-player deck-building / turn-based combat. You customize a deck, fight against dreaded creatures, and discover powerful relics.
The Spire is a multi-layered arena, the place you’re to conquer. It has various paths, so the game forces you to balance high-risk/high-reward vs. safe options. Dying means losing significant progress.
The title features a dynamic deck-building system. You choose a series of cards at the beginning of the journey and add hundreds of cards to the deck to “climb the Spire.” Cards offer particular synergies with each other, but you can also find “Relics” for permanent bonuses.
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release Date: March 2014
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital collectible card game. As a plus, it uses Warcraft’s lore for its characters, plots, and settings. Blizzard first released it as “Heroes of Warcraft,” but the game has evolved further to add extra co-op and PvP game modes.
Its main mode offers turn-based combat where you’d use your 30-card deck, plus a hero with a unique power. Additionally, you use mana crystals to summon minions and attack the opponent’s creatures and health bar. There’s also a timer for each turn.
By winning missions and completing quests, you earn in-game gold (which you can use to buy cards) and cards. Alternatively, you can buy cards with real money. That said, there’re four card types (minions, weapons, spells, and heroes), and they come in different rarities.
- Developer: Cygames
- Publisher: Cygames
- Release Date: June 2016
- Platform: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Shadowverse is a collectible card and card-battler game with an anime art style. It’s most similar to Hearthstone in gameplay, mechanics, and game modes. Similarly, it’s an MMO with deep customization options, classes, and spells like Wizard101.
You play against other players, and each takes turns using the cards on their deck. You start with a hand of three cards and 20 points of “Defense.” There’re also “Evolution Points,” which can buff your cards on each turn, and “Play Points,” a resource you use to play your cards.
The title features a single-player campaign plus free card packs for every new player. Moreover, it’s a free-to-play game with little to no paywalls. For example, earning new cards works simply via daily log-ins, completing challenges, winning matches, etc.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
- Developer: Konami
- Publisher: Konami
- Release Date: January 2022
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Master Duel is a free-to-play collectible card game with turn-based combat. It’s the most popular card game available on Steam, perhaps because it’s the digital version of the card-combat manga.
Additionally, it’s the easiest card game to try for genre newcomers. First, it has a friendly tutorial teaching the basics, and it rewards all players with a deck. Then, it makes it easier for players to get new cards by participating in events, tournaments, and challenges.
Lastly, the game uses Yu-Gi-Oh’s rich lore to deliver a Solo Mode. It guides you through the manga’s storylines while you hone your skills and collect cards. Aside from the campaign, you can duel other players online.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns
- Developer: Firaxis Games
- Publisher: 2K
- Release Date: December 2022
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Marvel’s Midnight Suns come from XCOM creators. The game crosses over characters from the Avengers, Runaway, and X-Men comics to deliver squad-based tactical combat with cards.
In essence, you play as a customizable avatar and choose other Marvel heroes to join your squad. Then, you meet enemies in turn-based combat, and the cards on the deck use skills, attacks, buffs, debuffs, and others.
The world is linear, and each mission happens in unique instances. The freedom you have is about using the environment to move around and get advantageous positions.
Library of Ruina
- Developer: ProjectMoon
- Publisher: ProjectMoon
- Release Date: August 2021
- Platform: Windows
Library of Ruina is a strategy card game focusing on deckbuilding and turn-based card combat. You play as the owner of a magical library, and other people will fight you over control of the location.
This is a Korean game with plenty of dialogue and a rich story to follow. The plot reveals itself through 2D animated dialogue, and it’s mostly about your Librarians fighting over your books and your Library. If you defeat them, though, they become a “Book” you can use in combat.
Lastly, you play with a squad of customizable Librarians. The skills each one has comes from the books, cards, and pages you collect. However, confrontation is about eliciting the right feelings from the Librarians, and the weakening ones on the “Guests.”
- Developer: Sokpop Collective
- Publisher: Sokpop Collective
- Release Date: April 2022
- Platform: Windows, macOS
Stacklands is a game where you build a village, stack cards, collect food, and fight creatures. It’s a solo experience, though, focusing on building a city and a crafting system: combining resources and villagers creates building cards.
Building a city works through cards on a 2D screen, akin to the Solitaire game. Essentially, you drop cards on plots and villages to issue commands, gather resources, and create structures. You can also trade cards for gold, and then buy more cards with the currency.
You build during the day and feed your villagers during the night. Lastly, villagers can find evil creatures as they build and work. They fight against rats, bears, goblins, and other beasts automatically. To help them, you can improve their abilities by giving them weapons or making teams attack and defend.
Across the Obelisk
- Developer: Dreamsite Games
- Publisher: Dreamsite Games
- Release Date: April 2021 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS
The developers describe Across the Obelisk as a co-op RPG rogue-lite deckbuilding game. Yet, you can play solo or with a group of friends. Either way, gameplay revolves around unlocking cards, crafting a deck, and facing enemies.
First, there’re 12 characters you can unlock to create your party if you play solo. Then, there’re over 500 cards you can find, craft, and even upgrade. These cards are your party characters’ spells, skills, upgrades, and passives.
That said, the game delivers procedurally generated text-based stories, For the 2D battles, you use the cards on your deck on your turn: these cards heal, buff, debuff, or damage. Lastly, you have extra items you can pick to customize your builds.
- Developer: BetaDwarf
- Publisher: BetaDwarf
- Release Date: May 2019
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Xbox One
Minion Masters is a fast-paced game blending tower defense and card-builder experiences. It’s also a multiplayer game that revolves around 1v1 or 2v2 battles and enjoys constant developer support.
You play as a Master of the realm and become part of a never-ending conflict. You can choose a Master (a class). The Master can level up and unlock powers for your Minions, the army you use for battle. Additionally, there’re various factions offering advantages to your deck.
Combat happens in small arenas, and you play with top-down perspectives. You use mana to summon minions from cards, and use your Master’s powers. These Minions will fight against the enemy minions on 2.5D arenas until one of the Masters falls.
- Developer: Voracious Games
- Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA, Inc
- Release Date: October 2022
- Platform: Windows
Potionomics is a deck-building RPG set in the magical land of Rafta. It’s also a management sim, as you have a shop you can customize and manage.
You play as Sylvie, and your rule is crafting alchemy potions as the new store owner. A cast of colorful characters will help you along the way and guide you through the game’s various but simple systems.
As you play, you’ll unlock cards for your deck, and these cards will help you build better potions. Then, you can use these potions to get coins and buy more ingredients for future potions.
- Developer: Monster Couch
- Publisher: Monster Couch
- Release Date: September 2020
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
On Wingspan, you play as a bird enthusiast. You research, watch and collect birds to preserve and discover wildlife.
However, these birds are cards, and you can collect them to preserve wildlife. Each bird you add to the deck will lay eggs, which become cards to draw or resources.
The game allows you to play with 5 people as you collect and build up nature preservation in limited turns. The gameplay revolves around going to preservations and using your cards to capture new birds.
- Developer: KingsIsle Ente
- Publisher: KingsIsle Entertainment
- Release Date: October 2012
- Platform: Windows
Pirate101 comes from the same Wizard101 developers. However, it’s not very similar, as graphics, story, setting, and combat are new. Still, it’s in the same universe as the witcraft game, and even though it’s not a card game, we included it as a fair alternative.
This is a pirate-themed MMORPG where you play in turns with cards. You’re a heroic pirate on a search for the treasures of the “Spiral.” The experience relies on a lengthy main quest, sailing ships, and making companions.
The journey takes your team }to various islands as you collect resources for the ship. Then, combat happens in turns, but not through cards. Instead, you see your characters in 3D as the enemy fights. But when it’s your turn to fight, it happens through an interface akin to a board game.