Modojo @ Shacknews Mobile Game of the Year 2019 - TEPPEN

TEPPEN's enjoyable use of Capcom characters in an excellently engaging card battle system is matched only by GungHo's constant efforts to maintain a great competitive community.

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It feels like free-to-play card games come at a dime a dozen these days. You really have to do some legwork to make a game like that stand out among the crowded space of Hearthstone, Magic The Gathering Arena, and League of Legends’ upcoming Legends of Runeterra. That said, TEPPEN not only stood out among card games. It also stood out among free-to-play and mobile games in general for its engaging match systems, use of Capcom heroes and villains, and lack of cheap monetization methods needed to build and run a good deck.

TEPPEN came into the mobile market from GungHo Online in July of 2019 and quickly caught attention with a key partnership securing them the use of the vast universe of Capcom characters. Decks come in four colors each tied to a signature Capcom character from iconic Street Fighters Ryu and Chun Li, to robot warrior Mega Man, all the way to villainous monsters like Resident Evil’s Albert Wesker and Monster Hunter’s Nerigigante. That said, packing all those names into one game is just part of the formula. TEPPEN also uses them effectively.

Each colored deck has a specialty. The black deck is full of high-risk, life sacrificing cards for big attacks while the green deck packs shields and heals a-plenty. Tied to these decks are the heroes themselves that each have three unlockable Hero Arts which can be used to turn the tide of a match. By using cards that damage its own life, Nerigigante can power up a Spike Launch that can wipe the board. Meanwhile, Ryu has a Hadouken that can target enemy cards. Morrigan, being as tricky as she is, can lull enemy cards into being inactive, or destroy a status-effected card outright.

What’s even greater about TEPPEN is that you can buy your way to a good deck or earn it. The game is filled with challenges and events that will net you currency or free packs outright. By grinding, you can get all the cards you need to run a good game on whatever deck you desire. For those with less time to spare, you can just buy card packs and skip the legwork. There are only a handful of exclusive cards that are hidden behind buyable season passes, but it never really feels like anyone has a leg up by simply buying their way to a good deck in TEPPEN. It’s all in how you strategize with the cards you get.

TEPPEN has continued to build upon their successful formula since launch with fresh new seasons of cards and new heroes like Jill Valentine and Nero.
TEPPEN has continued to build upon their successful formula since launch with fresh new seasons of cards and new heroes like Jill Valentine and Nero.

To that end, TEPPEN’s balanced gameplay and solid use of Capcom characters is further supported by GungHo’s constant efforts to keep the competitive and casual scenes fed with plenty of updates, events, tournaments, and other content. GungHo doesn’t just pour all their efforts into the game itself. They engage with the players in the scene to make the game better while cultivating the competitive community with everything from regional tournaments to world championships with rather hefty prize pools to show for it.

From top to bottom, gameplay to social engagement, from the competitive to the casual, TEPPEN has shown throughout 2019 that it’s more than just Ryu slapped on the cover of another game. It’s a compelling digital card game with a passionate team aiming to deliver a solid free-to-play experience in an all-too-often predatory market. For that, TEPPEN has earned the Modojo @ Shacknews Mobile Game of the Year.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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