Yu-Gi-Oh!, the collectible trading card game from Japan that had its very own Pokémon moment many moons ago, could very well experience yet another revival. And whaddya know, it's on the biggest gaming network around. Konami and Frima Studios' take on the mega popular card battler known simply as Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM has all the trappings of a hit card game on Facebook--surprisingly so.
Admit it: card battle games haven't done well historically on Facebook, but leave it to the folks behind the stellar social rendition of Pocket God to prove the sub genre has a shot on the network. Ultimately, Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM's successes boil down to the fact that Frima Studio simplified the basic game of Yu-Gi-Oh! where it counts. Now, it's entirely possible for fans to hop in and get their fill of monsters and spells in five minutes or spend hours tweaking their ultimate decks.
For starters, games in BAM go way faster than this writer remembers them going on the tabletops of old. (That's especially so thanks to a speed increase feature that ramps up animation speeds.) For that to be possible, Frima eliminated Trap Cards entirely and limited players' deck size to just 15 cards. Trust us, this is for the best: In the end both changes make for lightning-fast matches of Yu-Gi-Oh! that get to the good stuff.
Oh yeah, and the playing field has been squared down to fit just three monster cards and three spell cards at a time. But enough pandering to the Yu-Gi-Oh! purists--BAM is an exercise in transforming an otherwise nerdtacular card battle game into something both fans of the franchise and newcomers can dig for the amount of respect it shows for their time. (But be warned, this gem puts up a fight rather quickly.)
Between a lengthy story mode filled with duels and the option for players to duel their friends' current deck asynchronously, a strategy-filled game of cards is never far away. Players will even come across their friends on the battlefield at random through solo play, a welcome social feature for players that would rather not be bothered with seeking out their friends directly. Though, those that do will get to enlist their friends' help--a free 100 Life Points--in every duel in story mode.
Players can build and tweak a number of decks out to their hearts content, filled with cards won in the game's story mode or purchased from the in-game store using either coins or Duel Points, the paid currency in BAM. But even deck building has been streamlined in BAM (for those that want it): Based on the cards currently in your inventory, the game will automatically populate your deck with cards based on play style, whether it be offensive or defensive.
Basically, what Frima has done is take the Yu-Gi-Oh! experience and shove it through a funnel, letting only what matters to time-strapped social gamers come through. Then, the developer sprinkled plenty of sparkly, sweet social features on top. Aside from a few inhibiting bugs in the deck building process, Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM isn't just the go-to Yu-Gi-Oh! experience on Facebook. This is the go-to card battler on Facebook.
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