I don’t think it is fair to say Universal Fighting System Collectible Card Game aka UFS CCG is a dead CCG just yet but it is definitely a dying one. There are still UFS CCG sets being released but most of the local gaming stores near me don’t stock them any more. The packs or decks I do find are usually for sale. I got 10 packs of UFS Red Horizon Tides of Vengeance and a Dr Wiley starter deck for $12.
What piqued my interest in UFS initially is their licensed sets like Megaman and Street Fighter. UFS mimics classic fighting games (like Street Fighter) and the goal is to land enough attacks to knock out your opponent’s character. What I think is the strongest element of the game is the push your luck mechanics. For example, each time you play a card you have to see if the difficulty is less than or equal the control number on the top card of the library (which you discard). If you don’t pass the check, you have pay the difference with foundation cards that you played earlier. Each additional card you played also increases in difficulty. This make you think about the order you play card and even how to build and balance a deck. I also like how fast you go through your deck. You draw back to the starting hand size every turn and you also discard a lot of cards because you have to make a lot of checks.
So why did UFS fail? UFS sets were released too fast and there were way too many broken cards. Their banned list is huge. It is no fun to see the deck you invested in banned and it is also not fun to play against broken decks every round in a tournament. Also there are a lot of Japanese/ anime theme card games that is has to compete against. Just to name a few: Weiss Schwarz, Dragon Ball Z TCG, Final Fantasy TCG, Force of Will and Buddyfight. You also got the big 3 when it comes to CCGs: Magic, Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh. It is tough for any CCG.
Also I have to admit I have not gotten to play a full game of UFS. I goldfished the game a bit but it is hard to find someone to play with. Everyone in my gaming circle would rather play either Magic or a board game instead. Learning a CCG is a commitment. Sure the rules could be simple but there is a lot of reading and a lot of ambiguity when you first start any CCG. I also find it takes a couple of playthroughs to just “get” the game. It is a tough sell for any CCG.
All in all I still like collecting lost or dead CCGs. They are usually super cheap and I kind of just like building decks without really expecting to play with them…