On Tuesday, January 18, Konami surprised everyone by releasing the highly anticipated Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel out of nowhere on Steam. However, while the game was available to pre-download, the servers were still under maintenance at the time. Then, Konami revealed their other face down card as the servers went live on Wednesday, January 19, and duelists around the world were able to begin playing.
Taking heavy cues from Magic: The Gathering Arena, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is the first ever full simulator game for the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. Instead of being a standalone game release (or whatever the heck The Duelists of the Roses was), Master Duel is a full-on simulation of the real life card game meant to represent real gameplay as accurately as possible.
Fans of the game have been asking for something like this for a while, and in the age of games like the aforementioned Arena and Legends of Runeterra, now is the perfect time. The game can also be played in 4K if available. Meaning, for the first time, you can actually read the text on a card when it is on the field, not just in a window in your hand. It may sound small, but it really shows how far the franchise has come in video game form.
Get ready to get your game on!
The game is free to play and has microtransactions. You can, of course, buy packs to get cards, but you can also buy pets (called “mates” in the game), card sleeves, and different fields. You can play ranked mode and make Duel Rooms to play with friends, as well as spectate other player’s games. There’s even a robust single-player mode that delves into the history and backstory of monsters from the game.
The game seems very free to play friendly right now, and you can even acquire enough of the game’s premium currency (gems) to buy the battle pass just by finishing the tutorial. Konami has already said they will be supporting the game with different formats (yes, including goat format!), and will even hold officially sanctioned tournaments using Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel for the game’s organized play circuit. You can download Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel for free right now on Steam.