My Love-Hate Relationship with IRL Card Games

So, it’s Wednesday aka “Spritwoch” (derived from “Sprit” (German slang for Alcohol) and “Mittwoch” (German for Wednesday)) – and we’re currently hosting a little party here in our dorm… in the space that my flatmate and I are sharing. We’ve got good music (well, it’s music I listen to, so of course it’s good, duh.), mulled wine, and alcohol-free options in the form of water, tea and punch.

We’re having fun. But I gotta write a blog post, so here we are and the only thing I could think of was my love-hate relationship with card games…

There is someone here at the party that kind of takes control of everything because they REALLY like card games – and they just sort of want to play card games every time we host a party here in the dorm… And that sort of gets boring for me since we rarely change games unless I actually tell him to change the game. Last time I organized something, we played “Arschloch” (German for “asshole”) for a few hours without ever changing rules or anything. Fun.

So, today, I decided to ask him for something else – and in the worst case, I’ve got Jackbox over here on my PC, so it’s all good. :)

Anyway, I hate card games… but I also love card games.

It’s weird because I’m pretty good at the strategic aspect of card games. Uno, Wizard, whatever… I’m usually pretty good at it but it gets boring fast. If you have a bad hand, it gets boring as well, though. I don’t get frustrated or anything… I just lose interest either way.

Online, however, in most card-based games, it’s different. I like them. Anyone that has followed by reviews for a while, may have noticed that I really, really like card-based games, deckbuilders, and roguelikes. The way every round is different and the way that a lot of times in these sort of games, your hand doesn’t matter as much as you discard certainly keeps things interesting.

I’m not sure what exactly it is about real life card games that I hate but… It just doesn’t quite work.

You’re dealt a card or a hand and if it doesn’t work, you just suffer. Meanwhile, in games like Slay the Spire, Monster Train, and Legends of Runeterra, you’ve got ways to circumvent that by shuffling cards back into the deck, discarding, drawing or creating cards… or even bringing cards back completely that have been played.

But card games like Hearthstone, Slay the Spire and Legends of Runeterra probably could not work as well offline (as in IRL) as they work online.

How do you “manifest” a card? How do you summon tokens via a “Deathrattle/Last Breath” effect? How do you “search” a deck for a card without the need to reshuffle your deck? Oh, never mind, Yugioh does that already.

Either way, I find it interesting how card-based games are able to keep things interesting either through a bunch of mechanics (LoR, HS, MTGA, Gwen, etc.) or through roguelike components and other mechanics that sort of keep things random and less stale.

If we were to change out players every time, it wouldn’t necessarily remove that skill factor or anything. In Slay the Spire, you have ascension factors that sort of make games harder as you go. In real life, you can’t exactly do that.

Similarly, I noticed that playing for “fun” doesn’t quite work. We played “Arschloch” earlier and going for less optimal plays can still screw others over. I wonder if it’s the fact that there are more than two people involved that makes me dislike the games we play here or whether I just like something inherently wrong with them…

Thus, opinions would be much appreciated! Do you like online card games and dislike offline card games? Why so? If not, why not? Would be intrigued to hear opinions on the matter!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!

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