Ayakashi Ghost Guild is an online CCG brought to us by the delightful people at Zynga Japan, the company best known for FarmVille. It’s a simple and visually pleasing card game that requires more than strong cards to win: some proper planning with a touch of deception is also key. Available on Android and iOS, AGG is a social game where you pit your 5 ‘Daemons’ against other players to win Silver, Sealstones, and notoriety.
AGG’s story revolves around you becoming a Ghost Agent and clearing up supernatural happenings in modern day Japan. You run into individuals who can also interact with spirits, and the story progresses from there. As far as plots go, it comes off as little more than an interactive visual novel. While not its strongest point, the story does allow you to find new allies, meet other players, and level your stats as you progress.
The best part of AGG is the card system. There are three types of cards: Divina, Anima, and Phantom. Divina cards are based on gods and heroic characters, Anima are the embodiment of objects and weapons, and Phantom cards represent ghosts that embody strong negative feelings. The three types stack against each other rock-paper-scissors style, with Divina getting an advantage against Phantoms, Phantoms getting an advantage against Anima, and Anima getting an advantage against Divina.
You can find other players to battle from a list that shows their defense stat and leader Daemon. A Crew Member (another player you’ve allied with) can also be asked for help with a fight, but only once per day. However, as stated earlier, the winning factor isn’t strong cards, but tactics. Some players will hide their trumps in the selection screen, thus luring you into a trap. Setup is also key: Daemons usually have a skill attached to them that can aid your other cards if done correctly.
In addition to gaining Silver and levels, you can earn Sealstones from battle. Sealstones are used to unlock new Daemons, but you need a set of six to do so, and players are constantly stealing them from one another to complete their own collection. You can protect your stones with single-use Charms (purchased with Silver), which is a sound tactic if you are on the verge of completing a set but need just a bit more time to get the last one.
One of the main selling points of AGG is the art on the cards. They range from slightly dull to explosively detailed murals depicting beautiful characters. The sets have a number of artists that work on them, and each style becomes apparent as you see more of their work. The depiction of certain historic figures and weapons also makes it interesting to see how an artist can reimagine history.
Free to play, easy to get into, amazing art styles: Ayakashi Ghost Guild has a lot of great things backing it up. There are in-app purchases (as is always the case with Zynga’s games) to give you rarer summons, items, and other things. That aside, an intricate game of deck building and player hunting lies beneath the seemingly shallow surface that is AGG. Events are also set in place for certain holidays, allowing themed summons for that period.
While there is sadly no trading system yet, you can keep busy with the Fusion system to max out your favorite Daemons. You can also add friends and keep tabs on them as they progress. There are many other details and perks that come with progressing through the story and battling, but that’s for you to find out as you explore and exorcise Daemons from all time periods. Have fun, and remember to watch your Sealstones!