Trading card games online have become increasingly popular. Maybe it’s because of the strategy and variety behind these games. Or maybe it’s because most of us had to stay at home and needed to find new ways to kill time.

Regardless of the reason, a good card game can be extremely fun and highly addictive. You probably already know about games like Hearthstone Arena or Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, but there’s a new player in town that might be worth your time.

I’m talking about Book of Beasts, a fairly new card game developed by Gbanga that brings a brand new strategy to card games. The game rules are fairly simple, or so it would seem.

Both players start with their own 20-card deck. Each player takes turns to play cards on the board. You have to places cards on the board by connecting them with other cards with the same element. There are a total of five elements in the game: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Spirit. You know, kind of like The Last Airbender.

The goal is to connect as many cards as you can and collect the most amount of points. It’s a lot to take, and I’m not good at explaining the game rules, so feel free to check the official guide.

As I said, for the most part, is a pretty simple game to learn, but when you start playing you really don’t know what to do. Or rather, you don’t know how to do it. I’ve played a few card games in my days, and all of them give you a bit of a long tutorial to teach you the basics and a bit of strategy as well. Book of Beasts doesn’t do a good job in that department. You do get the general rules from the get-go and you also have a practice match against the game, but other than knowing how to move your cards, you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing. In fact, I lost that match because I didn’t know what I should be doing.

I know what you’re thinking, maybe it was just me. I thought the same thing that’s why a decision to try it all over again and do the practice battle one more time. I managed to win that time, but I felt the card-game equivalent to mashing all the buttons until I won.

I was still thinking I was the problem so I decided to take it to a PvP match with another real-life player to see how bad I did. Turns out, the player I played with was as confused as me! It was so funny watching how both of us would struggle to make the right places, only to start our turns from scratch a few times. The worst part is, I lost.

Clearly, the game developers want this to be a rather complicated game. Like HearthStone or Auto Chess, you need to go above and beyond to learn the META, the best strategies, and different interactions. And with practice, I started to get the hang of it, but it took a while. The best part is, I had fun all the way through, even if I’m not really good enough.

Of course, having a free-to-play card game means only one thing: Microtransactions. Sadly, Book of Beasts has a shop where you can purchase more cards. You can use in-game gold or real-life money to buy them.

Fortunately, getting some cards at first isn’t that hard, you earn gold after each match, and, even if it isn’t that much, it does make you want to keep grinding the game to buy new cards. Since the game it’s just starting, there wasn’t any big incentive to buy more cards with real money, but it’s possible that as it develops, we’ll see more microtransactions like in other card games.

One of the coolest things about Book of Beasts is its artwork. According to the game, the beasts in the cards are based on mythical tales from around the world. Not only that, but they’re pretty sweet-looking. The only problem I had with them is that, when you’re playing, you can’t see them that well once they’re on the board. It’ll be nice to have bigger cards to appreciate the art style, which is one of the best reasons to play the game.

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Overall, Book of Beasts is a new way to play a card game. While it keeps the same basics you’ll find in any other trading card game, the game also has its own unique mechanics and gameplay that gives you a sense of fresh air from the same old formula, even if you don’t understand it at first.

If you’re into trading card games, Book of Beasts is a game you need to try. The best part is that it’s free and that you can find it on Android, iPhone, and even PC. And if you’re trying to find a good digital game, you can always check our list of the best digital board games for Android.