As of October 23rd, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is officially out on iOS! This release brings the strategy card game based on a minigame from The Witcher 3 to new players and introduces new ways to play as it is available on both iPhones and iPads.
As with anything that's new, there are some pros and cons to Gwent's iOS version. Some elements transition nicely to a mobile environment, whereas others are a little less ideal and can feel a bit clunky. Let's break down five of the best things about Gwent's mobile version - and the five worst.
10 Worst: Cramped Battlefield
Back when Gwent came out of beta, it made the significant change of removing an entire row, instead focusing on just two rows for players to place their cards. This was due to the cramped nature of a three-row battlefield, and it was very much alleviated by this fix.
However, the iOS version runs into the same problem, especially on phones. The smaller screen naturally means that the battlefield is once again cramped, making it difficult for players to select specific cards or identify their opponent's cards.
9 Best: Link PC Account
One concern heading into the mobile release that wasn't widely addressed was whether players would be able to link their accounts. If not, this would have meant players on iOS would all be starting from scratch, no matter how much progress they'd made in the full version of the game.
However, Gwent does let players link their PC accounts with their mobile accounts. This is a boon for many players who will be able to switch between mobile and PC without losing any progress they've made on the other platform.
8 Worst: Can't Link Console Account
However, not all accounts can be linked. While players can connect their PC and mobile games through a GOG account, the same can't be said of console versions of Gwent. This means that a significant chunk of players will not be able to share progress with their mobile accounts.
While this limitation is unfortunate, it is also understandable. The linking done from PC is based on GOG accounts, and since consoles aren't connected to GOG, they are limited in the ways they can connect to mobile.
7 Best: Graphics And Animations
One major worry for any game that releases on mobile is whether or not the graphics will run smoothly. Transitioning from PC and consoles - which are built for such tasks - to mobile hardware can often lead to lagging graphics and poor visuals.
However, mobile Gwent seems to be running just fine so far. The graphics and animations for both cards and leader abilities are running just fine on mobile platforms, and while an abundance of premium cards may cause some lag, in general, everything is doing fine.
6 Worst: Crowded Menus
On a similar note to our previous entry about the cramped battlefield, the menus of Gwent iOS face much the same problem. This issue is visible across the game, but is most noticeable in the reward tree screens.
The reward trees are built to have an abundance of small nodes to click on, which is a problem when your game screen shrinks. While it is still absolutely possible to navigate the reward trees in iOS, it's markedly more difficult than it is in the PC and console versions.
5 Best: New Players
One major benefit to spreading Gwent to a mobile platform is of course the possibility of new players picking up the game. Given the success of other CCGs on mobile such as Hearthstone, it's only natural that moving Gwent to iOS would increase its player base.
This injection of new players is just what the game needs to keep going strong a full year after release. It also provides a wider audience of gamers the opportunity to pick up a new CCG that differs greatly from most of the other offerings available today.
4 Worst: Collection Disparity
However, with the introduction of new players comes a bit of a double edged sword. For those just joining, they'll mostly be limited to starter decks and cards, while those who have been playing since the beta or even just the release will likely have most if not all of the available cards.
With three card expansions already out and more surely on the way, the collection disparity between Gwent's veterans and newcomers is going to be a major obstacle for the game. Overcoming this issue will be telling as to whether or not the game's mobile release is a success.
3 Best: Crossplay
On a more positive note, the mobile version of Gwent offers something that a wide variety of games on multiple platforms don't: crossplay. The ability for players on mobile, console, and PC to play against each other is absolutely perfect.
Given how often online games these days don't allow players to face off against those using different platforms, it's refreshing to see that Gwent manages to overcome this hurdle. It's a welcome feature that most everyone was hoping for, and one that will surely help Gwent iOS stand on its own.
2 Worst: Game Length
The major concern with Gwent's mobile release, however, is its game length. A CCG like Hearthstone successfully cultivates a mobile audience because its games are fast, simple, and relatively easy to play. This may not be the case for Gwent.
Gwent is a game about strategy and deliberation, and matches can easily last 15 minutes or more. Mobile games are meant to be played quickly and while on the go, meaning that it may not mesh very well with Gwent's slower pace. This is ultimately our biggest issue with the Gwent iOS release.
1 Best: Gwent On The Go
Finally, the best thing about the Gwent mobile release is, despite all the other entries listed about, the ability to play Gwent on the go. Even with the cramped screen and lengthy matches, it's still nice to be able to play this game while away from a PC or console.
Whether you're riding a bus for a long commute or waiting for a flight or just hanging around somewhere, it's great to be able to play Gwent whenever and wherever you want. That's why simply the ability to play the game at any time is our pick for the best thing about Gwent's mobile version.