yomi initial hand
Multiplayer:Yes, via the company's server
AI:Yes, 2 levels
Universal App:No
Purchase for iPhone:None available. Buy an iPad now!
Purchase for iPad:
Price: $4.99
User rating:
GD Star Rating
Yomi, 7.3 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

Yomi is the latest iPad entry in a surprisingly crowded sub-sub-genre: card games based on one-on-one fighting video games. Already crowded by BattleCon and Brawl, can Yomi score a knockout?


In Yomi, each player represents one of 10 colorful fighters (10 more are available via an IAP expansion). You’ll select a character either for a single match-up, or to take on a gauntlet of foes in Survival mode.

yomi characters

As in most fighting games, each character has access to both a basic set of movies and some special moves unique to their combat style. Characters do not start with the same life totals, and each unique special ability is spelled out in the character selection screen.

yomi rotate

Each turn, each combatant will choose a combat card and place it face down. Each deck is based on a standard 52-card poker deck, plus jokers. The number cards each have 2 moves, divided between the standard options of Attack, Block, Dodge, or Throw; the face cards represent the specialty moves and may or may not have multiple options.

yomi attack blocked

Both cards are then revealed simultaneously. The core of the game is a rock-scissors-paper mechanism; Attacks are defeated by both Blocks and Dodges; the defensive moves are beaten by Throws; and Throws are beaten by Attacks. The core of the game’s strategy lies in predicting which the opponent is likely to use and countering accordingly.

yomi block wins

There wouldn’t be much to the game if that’s all there was to it, but there’s a lot of refinement on this core idea. Key to the game is the concept of combos; a successful Attack, Throw, or Dodge will allow you to chain additional attack cards for significantly increased damage. Block, in turn, doesn’t allow for the possibility of a combo, but is the only card that is returned to your hand (unless you lose to a Throw). Additionally, the 7s, 8s, and 9s often have combat abilities, and can be discarded to trigger these upon a successful hit. Face cards can usually be “pumped,” allowing you to discard cards for extra damage. And you can power-up at the end of each turn by discarding poker pairs to go digging for your aces, usually your most powerful finishing moves.

yomi basic hit

Each successful hit deals damage to your opponent. As in the games that clearly inspired Yomi, last character standing wins the match.


yomi pumped hit

Yomi takes at once a more interpretive and visually interesting approach than the other games in this category. Where BattleCon sort of implies a game table in its layout and Brawl actually presents graphics for one, Yomi leans on its source material, depicting the two characters in a video-game-style battle in the upper half of the screen above your hand. Board game purists might complain, but the net result is to draw you in to the game being played as well as the game being simulated, without once compromising on either the card game mechanics or on the player’s control and understanding of what’s going on.

yomi zoom

A fully interactive tutorial exists in three parts, doing an excellent job of introducing the interface elements, basic gameplay, and general strategy to when you would play a given type of card. The touch interface is extremely well done; tapping a card at any time zooms in so you can read it, and the interface is littered with help messages to make sure you never get truly lost. Most cards can be played as 2 attack types, and rotating a card is as simple as swiping down before dragging it into play.

yomi online

While you can play in single-player mode against 2 levels of AI, either in single matches or a gauntlet-style survival mode, Yomi is focused around real-time, online play against live opponents. Accounts are hosted remotely on the company’s servers at http://www.fantasystrike.com (where you can try the game for free before committing to the iPad version). You will be able to complete both against other iPad owners and web-based combatants, and the interface allows you to practice against bots while waiting for the automatch to find you an opponent. A solid online community already exists for this game, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a match.


A full Yomi set offline costs $100 and up; at $10 ($20 with the expansion) the iPad implementation is a steal. The game manages to capture the best of both the card game and the medium that inspired it, and does so in an intuitive, solid app that comes with a prebuilt online community. While the game’s genre is a niche within a niche, you couldn’t ask for a better on-the-go version. The price tag may keep new players away (at least until they try the web-based implementation) but fans of Yomi should grab it without hestiation.

yomi win

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