Multiplayer:Yes, sort of
Universal App:No
Purchase for iPhone:None available. Buy an iPad now!
Purchase for iPad:
Price: $1.99
User rating:
GD Star Rating
CardWarden, 8.5 out of 10 based on 12 ratings

There’s something sexy about playing a game made up of hundreds of little pieces of paper on a device thinner than your thumb. Thinner than a standard deck of cards. Thinner and lighter than your entire collection of physical cards, and able to hold collections many, many times larger. Throw in the ability to shuffle that collection with the simple tap finger against the glass? Oh.. that’s just plan alluring.

Enter CardWarden, an app that lets you create digital decks from physical – or otherwise – cards.

CardWarden Title Screen


CardWarden isn’t really a game, so this isn’t really about how it plays so much as interacts. At it’s most basic, it’s a tool for storing and prototyping cards digitally. Users can copy existing physical cards with the aid of the camera, or import images from the Photos directory. Once the cards are copied into the app and the deck constructed, there is a place to test how the stack deals out and another to “play” a game.


There’s no way for the app to police which ever game you decide to play on its table, but it tries to provide some of the basic game features. There’s a random number generator for die rolls, tokens for counters, and some “hand” compartments that hide off screen to server as storage for individual players. You can rotate cards 90-degrees in one direction to simulate tapping and flip a card to be face-up or face-down. A simple touch and drag moves cards and decks around the screen and when you save your game, it even saves the positioning.

A digital game of Matching Lions.


If you can get past the interface that looks like it comes from 2002, you’ll find CardWarden to be a nice tool for digitizing any card game you care to put the work in for. It has immense potential in regards to prototyping decks for game designers, and is easily used with trading card games. If you have the patience to import your collection, it can also be a great catalog for your cards.

There are a few kinks on the current release, such as an inability to rotate cards 180 or 270 degrees, odd touch areas and smaller buttons. The developer has posted an update for review as of this writing that addresses some of these issues, but for the price, this still a great app, quirks and all.

(Note: The cards featured in the screenshots are from the Kickstarted Matching Lions game, which is a game for ages 3+ and plays like one.)

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  1. Mroskam

    This app is great for playing LOTRLCG solo or pass and play. Now that the card image limit has been raised to 500, you can load lots of player cards and scenarios. The trays to the side make the desktop manageable even for the most complex scenarios. Awesome!

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