Skylanders is expanding into the card game market, with a new mobile card-battling game.

Skylanders BattleCast is coming out next year for mobile devices, and it’s free to play. Free to play in this case is a bit of a misnomer, since you will most certainly be purchasing lots of cards.

You can get digital cards in the game, or purchase physical cards and scan them with your device to get those characters. Battles can be fought against friends locally or online. There is also a single-player adventure mode, much like in the regular Skylanders games. You can also scan two physical cards next to each other to see the characters fight in augmented reality. Check out the video above for an example of how the game will interact with real-life objects.

Skylanders BattleCast Gameplay

The goal of the game appears to be to put together a team of Skylanders to fight against opponents. It looks more similar to Pokémon than it does to Hearthstone, the reigning champion of digital card games.

Skylanders BattleCast Card Game

From the card images we can get an idea of what the monster-to-monster fighting is like. Each character has an attack amount (in red on the left) and health (in green on the right). They also have character-specific effects.

In the trailer, we can get a glimpse of some non-monster cards that appear to have different effects—perhaps character-specific attacks or spells. Like the Skylanders characters, each card is aligned with a natural element, like fire or earth.

Skylanders BattleCast cards

When we discussed next steps for the Skylanders franchise on The Issue a few weeks ago, Courtney mentioned the possibility of putting NFC chips in cards like Nintendo did with its new amiibos. Skylanders may be getting too big too fast, but a mobile card game is something that Activision could continuously update without raising the stakes. More than they’ve already been raised, anyway.

Skylanders BattleCast will be coming out in 2016. However, Activision is launching a preview of the app on September 20, the same day that Skylanders SuperChargers comes out in North America. You can check it out on iOS, Android, and in the Amazon Appstore.

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.