Rage of Bahamut makes a valiant attempt to make card games fun on mobiles. There's some potential beneath the various issues that mar the experience, but card veterans would do better to stick to more in-depth, better established franchises like Magic: The Gathering.
The aim of the game is to collect cards by winning them from opponents. To start with - after you've fathomed how to navigate the abysmal menus - you choose between three races: gods are largely defensive, demons are largely offensive, and men are a balance of both.
You'll still be able to use cards aligned with other races, but your own race receives special stat boosts and bonuses.
The quickest way to collect cards is to embark on quests. These single instance scenarios have you fighting enemies by hammering your finger on the screen to attack.
You lose stamina as you progress, eventually having to wait for the meter to recharge. It's a laborious way to progress, but the cards you receive often make the slog worthwhile. Each card can be enhanced and evolved, and you can sacrifice duplicate cards to further the progression of the original version of that card.
The ace of spades
Battling other players online is more enjoyable, but it's equally limited. To fight, you make sure your deck load-out is the way you want it, click a button, and watch a silent interlude play before learning whether you were victorious or not.
It's this uninspiring structure that lets Rage of Bahamut down. While the cards are vibrant and intricately designed, there's nothing else to look at or get excited about. There's not even a soundtrack to hum along to.
A strong social community ensures the multiplayer doesn't fall entirely flat, though. There's never a shortage of players to battle, the quick-fire nature of combat spurs you on to battle many players in a short period of time, and the ability to recruit five 'Fellows' - Bahamut's word for friends - in return for percentage stat bonuses enriches the social experience.
But for all its attempts at being deep and engrossing Rage of Bahamut simply can't rival its better contemparies. The fast and effortless process of battling players for instant victories is fine, but a fully formed battle system would have kept the action fun for much longer.
Its only saving grace is the fact that it's free, so you don't risk any money in giving it a go - you might find yourself addicted to card collecting, but we'd be surprised if the addiction lasts for a long time.