You could probably describe Wagers of War as Hearth Royale. It does for card games what Clash Royale did for mobile MOBAs.
In other words it squidges the ideas of a CCG into a smaller package, trims off the fat, and leaves you with a more streamlined, short form experience.
Does it work? Eh, sort of. It's not as engaging as Supercell's reimagining of the MOBA, but there's fun to be had here all the same.
Pass or play
The game has two distinct stages. First there's the wagers, then there's the war. To build up your mana you're essentially playing a game of higher or lower wth your opponent.
You flip over a card, they flip over a card, and whichever is highest wins the wager and gets some magic juice. Once a timer has run down, it's time for the war.
Here you're given three different cards, and you can spend the mana you've earned on playing them. The cards are the cards from a standard deck.
Red suits are attacks, black suits are defence. The picture cards have special moves as well. The Queen can throw out poison or switch the colour of another card, for example.
You've also got your own set of cards. You pick a hero, and then add some equipment, all of which can change the way that a battle plays out.
It's a smart set up, but the battles are often a few minutes longer than you might expect. That's partly down to the amount of strategy that the game offers up.
Wagers of War is surprisingly tactical. Even with the small amount of options open to you, the war sections can get pretty tense as you try and second guess which cards your foe is likely to lay down.
It might not have the flash bang wallop of Clash Royale, and it certainly borrows heavily from that game's art style, but there's still a whole bunch of fun to be had here.
It's the sort of game that's easy to get into, and, while it doesn't have the depth of a true CCG, you're still going to find yourself spending a decent amount of time with it.