Yomi Online Updates: iPhone, EX Characters, and More

We just updated the online version of Yomi. The main big things are:

  • There's now an iPhone version, which you get for free if you have the iPad version. 
  • There are now EX characters in the game.
  • Character reference cards
  • New "Card Collection" feature lets you see every card easily.


Yomi is already on iPad, and now it's on iPhone too. It's a universal app, which means if you buy either version, you get the other for free.

We adjusted the UI to work with the smaller screen. For example, when zooming a card, you can rotate your iPhone to portrait orientation and the card will rotate and zoom to fill the screen so you can read the card more easily. It's pretty slick. Overall, the Yomi experience on iPhone is pretty similar to the iPad version.

Get Yomi in the App Store here (US store).

EX Characters

The EX characters are more powerful than regular characters. They aren't balanced, but they are pretty crazy and fun. Tournaments and Quick Match do not use these characters because Yomi is ultimately a fair and balanced competitive game, but you can get a lot of mileage out of EX Characters.

Here's how they work. An EX character has these changes from a regular character:

  • Instead of your regular character card, you get a powerful EX version (it’s gold!)
  • Add 4 copies of the new rank of face cards to your deck, the Destiny cards.
  • You can Power Up for ANY cards from the draw deck and you don’t have to reveal what you Power Up for.  (You can still Power Up for aces from the discard pile, too.)


  • Play EX vs EX for a new Yomi experience.
  • Let bad players or Yomibot play an EX character against your regular character.
  • Reminder: EX characters are not used in tournaments or in Quick Match.

EX characters might be silly and overpowered, but they still have real design behind them. Their Destiny cards usually highlight and reinforce iconic aspects of the characters, like how EX Midori has a "counter" defensive move, or how EX Setsuki gets to swiftly dash around her opponent. You can imagine Grave in a fighting game using his sword with a slow, powerful Overhead Slice and a quick Rapid Poke—and that's what he gets in his EX form.

Being able to power up for ANY deck card is also quite a different experience. It lets you fetch your Destiny cards often so you get even more use out of them. Or perhaps you really need a specific ability to get around the opponent's? As EX Menelker, do you go for your powerful Aerial Nether Orb to win combat, or fetch an early Into Oblivion to banish your opponent EX Grave's recurring Queen? As EX Argagarg, do you start by getting a Raging River Destiny card, or a second Ace to threaten Blowfish Spikes? As EX Gloria, do you get your Ace of Hearts as soon as possible, or start by fetching a Joker? If you have enough cards to power up, the choice is yours.

To unlock EX Grave (or any other EX character), using a normal character:

Defeat Yomibot Grave 25 times (on hard difficulty).
This unlocks EX Grave as a Yomibot opponent.

Then defeat Yomibot EX Grave 10 times on hard difficulty.
This unlocks EX Grave for casual play.

Or just unlock EX Grave instantly in the in-game store on iOS or the web store on fantasystrike.com!

Survival mode has also been updated and now features EX opponents as Yomibot #5, #10, #15... These opponents will be harder than usual, but you will heal more life than usual for defeating them!

If you play as an EX character in Survival, though, all of your opponents will be EX themselves! Can you use your unique EX skills to survive this onslaught?

There are also new public Survival (and EX Survival) Leaderboards. Compete with your friends and make it as a top Survivalist with your favorite characters.

Character Reference Cards

Another new feature we are introducing to online Yomi today is in-game character reference cards, as seen in newest print version of Yomi (which you can pre-order here, by the way). What if you forgot what speed your opponent's Ace attack is, or what their ability does? Just hover over your opponent's portrait and click to view their character's reference card to show all of that character's gameplay data! (Then click on it to toggle to their character card.)

Card Collection

iOS Yomi players also get a new, full Card Collection screen, available from the main menu. You can check every card in the game on that screen, including the EX cards. Study your deck and your opponents' carefully, and you can become a Yomi master. (Or can you?)

Bug Fixes and Minor Improvements

And finally, along with this release, we have a fair amount of fixes and minor improvements to the game. Here's the fine print:

- iOS: Chat and gamelog lines display much faster
- The match browser now displays the spectator-view status of custom rooms as an icon
- Added a few Yomibot chat quotes
- Various Yomibot AI improvements
- Fixed BBB's Overdrive not correctly stacking its damage bonus
- Fixed various cases where phantom cards from the opponent would persist on your screen, especially during Bare Your Soul.
- When opening or closing the opponent's mini-discard, the cards now rotate more smoothly
- Web: Fixed bad game resizes when un-maximizing the browser window
- Web: Fixed the /ignore command not working on usernames containing spaces or underscores
- Web: Fixed a graphical issue on some video cards where numbered cards would appear with black areas in the white background
- Web: Fixed "white card syndrome", where other applications could sometimes wipe the card graphics
- iPad: Fixed offline Menelker mirror bug where comboing from a non-fully pumped K into a black face card would apply Bleeding Wounds's discard to yourself
- Fixed mirror-match QMs sometimes showing the right-side character at the wrong position
- Fixed a powerup exploit to get rid of a Bare Your Soul effect without fetching an ace from the deck
- Fixed a spectator information leak from the order of animations for a combo escaped Bonecracker
- Fixed the attack clash lifebar display glitch where the displayed numbers would be incorrect during the animation for player 2
- Fixed Grave's Knowing the Opponent's reward timing so it is immediate when winning combat, not delayed until the end of combat
- Fixed the end-of-game animations so that the win token only appears when a player is declared K.O., not before. (No spoilers!)
- Fixed double KO gameover anim sometimes having a giant cardback image in the center of the screen
- Fixed Speed of the Fox incorrectly triggering during Acrobatics
- Fixed some minor typos and card text

Where to Play Yomi

In case you've lost track of all the ways to play, here's a reminder.

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep2: Cooperative Games

In this episode, we discuss the common problems with the design of cooperative games. We cover tabletop games as well as video games.

MrGPhantome complains about his friends' gaming tastes in a guest segment.

Hosts: David Sirlin & Matt "Aphotix" DeMasi


Patreon lets you support creative people so they can do more of whatever it is they do. I now have a Patreon here, check it out:

You can get a sneak peek behind the scenes of my games and your patronage helps make more stuff possible. Even if you're not a patron, I'm doing a new podcast on game design, so enjoy that too!

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep1: Cocaine Logic


Here's the first episode of my new podcast. In this episode, I discuss the concept of Cocaine Logic—the fallacy that "helps the player win" means "good to exist in the game design". I also discuss randomness in games and how to make games that are more resistant to be being solved.

Garcia1000 enlightens us all in a guest segment.

Pandante at IndieCade 2014

IndieCade selected Pandante to be exhibited. (I didn't even apply, they contacted me, wow!) If you're attending IndieCade, you can come play Pandate from 12-2:30pm on Friday, October 10th or 2-4pm on Saturday, October 11th.


Pandante is a gambling game with no player elimination that's all about lying and all about pandas. Here's various links and info about the game:

Pandante's page on IndieCade's site
All the other games you can see at IndieCade
Article on Pandante's game design
Article on Pandante's graphic design
Overview, pics, and gameplay video of Pandante
Buy Pandante

Site Redesign

I completely redesigned sirlin.net. As you can see, it now has a much different and simpler graphic design. I used Blivand Design and Subtractive Design principles.

Here's a progression of how my site has looked over the last 15 years:

My old site is archived at oldsite.sirlin.net. (And here, if the first link is broken.)


I added new content about game design and I revised and rewrote a lot of old articles. It's all cleaned up and a lot more presentable now. There's also a nice looking page listing all my articles.

  • Solvability. A new article about making competitive games more difficult for experts to solve.
  • Writing Well, Part 4: Trolling. A new light-hearted article about using language in unfair ways.
  • Street Fighter HD Remix articles. These 20 articles are now reformatted and slightly fixed up here and there. They have a much better looking landing page.
  • Playing to Win. My book is reformatted and still free. There is now a Playing to Win: Overview article which is a rewritten, modernized version of my old Playing to Win: Part 1 article as well as a revised Playing to Win: Mailbag article.
  • Designing Yomi. This article was so out of date before that it used the character Ken as an example, who does not even appear in the game. Now revised for modern times.
  • Game Balance and Yomi. So many people liked this blog post that I made it into an article.
  • Blivand Design. I extended my earlier posts about this graphic design style into an article.
  • I revised my four part series on balancing multiplayer competitive games. Part 3: Fairness has the most updates, including a section about how more customization means FEWER real options.
  • The Secret of Donkey Kong Country 2. This article has always been a fan favorite. It's back and revised to be more to the point, now including a spoiler video.
  • Pacing For Impact. This article appeared in Game Developer Magazine years ago, but I never actually put it on my previous site.
  • Save Game Systems. This article also appeared in Game Developer Magazine and was also not on the previous version of sirlin.net.
  • Designing Defensively: Guilty Gear. Totally rewritten to be more to the point. The thesis moved to the top, a little more text to support the main idea added, and lots of Guilty Gear mechanics that are unrelated to the point were removed.
  • The Sheathed Sword in Software Development. A very old article of mine about how working smart is usually better than working hard. Revised and back by popular demand.
  • Most other articles are revised as well.

Graphic Design

In addition to revamping the graphic design of this site, I also created a set of galleries that show the graphic design I've done for my games. Also, every article has new pictures which are generally more aesthetically sophisticated than before.

Here's a comparison of my old list of articles looks like, compared to the new:

And here's a comparison of my old collection of Street Fighter articles, compared to the new:


There's now new forums for my site. These are semi-private forums about game design and development. Think of it like "Sirlin's house." It's for friends, colleagues, and friendly contributors. There's discussion about game design topics that's above a remedial level because everyone there already understands the basics. It's open for the public to read, but new members have to be approved by the staff.

The Fantasy Strike forums are much different. Those are public forums and anyone can join. If you're a fan of Sirlin Games, join there and connect with other fans to discuss strategies, rules questions, organize tournaments, and whatever else.


Make sure to set your RSS to this link if that's how you follow sirlin.net.


There's now a gallery showing the latest versions of all Yomi cards, including each character's stat reference cards and EX Powerup cards.

This has been up for a while, but in case you missed it, there's also a page showing all 20 Fantasy Strike characters story goals, likes, dislikes, friends, rivals, and a cool picture for each.

Enjoy the new Sirlin.net! I hope you find it a good resource of game design knowledge.