I was watching the third season of Chihayafuru (I still haven’t finished it) and I suddenly had the urge to search for something similar to Karuta to play. I think I actually searched for a karuta game online a few years ago when I first watched the first season but I didn’t find any. Now however, I FOUND IT! It’s called Competitive Karuta Online and you can play it on Android and iOS.
The rules of the game are very similar to actual Karuta. It has all 100 ancient poems, the card is exactly like the real thing and the reader reads the poems the same way as a real karuta game reader would read. The placement of the cards, how we take the cards from the opponent and the foul system are all similar to the real game. The only difference is that we play with less cards than the real game. Can you imagine playing with all 50 cards at a time? That would take a really long time and make the game extremely stressful.
Even with less cards, the game is already quite stressful. Like the real game, the cards only show the second half of the poems and the reader would read the first half of the poem. We as players need to tap the card which corresponds to what the reader reads. Now of course this would be extremely difficult since we actually need to memorize all 100 poems. Luckily, the game offers a beginner’s card toggle which will show the first few syllables of the poems at the centre of the cards. This way, we don’t need to memorize the poems.
We can play against real people online only once a day for free. If you want to play more, you need to pay using the in-game currency which you can obtain from winning matches with other real players or from watching ads. Playing against real players as a beginner is not fun because they will DESTROY you. This is why I only play against the CPU. The CPU has three different difficulties which are easy, normal and hard. The harder the difficulty, the faster the CPU is at tapping the cards. You can even set up private matches. This, I think, is the best part of the game since you can play with your friends instead of an obviously more skilled stranger.
I find the game quite fun but it can also be very stressful especially after a few matches. I need to memorize the position of my cards as well as the opponent’s card in less than a minute. It’s extremely difficult and more often than not, I just give up memorizing and rely on finding the card when the card is read. Playing with friends is the best choice in my opinion but you have to find someone who is willing to learn how to play Karuta or at least, have watched Chihayafuru.
This game is like a dream come true for Chihayafuru fans. Though upon playing it, some might find that this game is not for them. It’s honestly not for me too. I mean, I’m not obsessed with it at least. In any case, I’m glad I found this game. Try it! You might like it 🙂