Computer Combat Cards were created by William Lau, a Computing teacher based in London, England. William decided to create the game when his five-year-old son Zi came home with some trump cards that his friend had given to him at school.

The content is primarily based on the GCSE Computer Science syllabus and is influenced by the many versions of trumps that exist (see below). The initial aim was to cover as much computer science theory as possible in a card game. William wanted to print 50 decks to give to his GCSE and A-Level computer science students. However, the costs of printing were quite high. Anticipating demand, William decided to print several hundred decks. The decks would be sold in order to finance those that he would give away. As the whole project is about learning and social mobility, the cards are also available as a digital download under a Free Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license.


  • I have used Computer Combat Cards with students in Year 7 through to Year 11. They have been used to consolidate learning at GCSE level and also to spark interest and generate further conversations in computers amongst students in Key Stage 3. They are a wonderful resource and I would highly recommend them

    Adam R
  • I am teaching college courses in Chesterfield from Level 1-3 in Digital Technologies and have used these with all my groups. They are a considerable upgrade from my previous laminated (and now battered and binned!) PowerPoint top trumps cards that I have used for the last couple of years!

    They are particularly an excellent resource for start of year induction / icebreaking, that is fun for the students whilst still building and practising knowledge and vocabulary that is relevant to tech

    Particularly a hit with my Level 1 and 2 groups who ask to play again pretty much every week: specifics from them are that the cards look good and feel like good quality; they recall that the supercomputers are ‘OP’ for processor cores; they also asked how you got the images and were they licensed – which led this year into another nice relevant classroom conversation!

    My 10 packs have had plenty of use already and are getting passed around colleagues regularly – thanks for taking the time manufacturing them

    Mike J
  • I purchased a box of Computer Combat cards as rewards for KS3-4 students frequently attending Code Club.  These have proven such excellent gifts that I have already run out and purchased another box. 

    My students enjoy playing them in the club to give themselves a break from coding, and also out and about the school, such as in the library. In addition, I use them with a visualiser to teach GCSE CS topics such as binary, hexadecimal, sorting and searching algorithms.

    The cards themselves are well-made, using a robust card, and laid out according to nice design considerations, so that every card looks attractive and worth reading.  

    John F
  • Little book of algorithms.  Perfect for starter and cover work.

    Combat Cards.  Awesome TopTrumps style game, the students love it and it makes a nice student picker.  Play or pass

    Damian B
  • Many thanks for releasing the computer combat cards. Not only have they been great for a starter or plenary activity, they have also been a great stimulas to open discussions about the evolution of computers. As many young people take for granted high powered machines as standard, comparing computer specs from within recent history has been an eye opener for many pupils

    Steve P
  • Dear William,
    … I teach computer science to home educated students (as my own kids are HE) so it\’s a bit different to a classroom setting and as we currently only meet up physically once a month, we\’ve only had chance to play with the cards a couple of times with a group (although a few more times at home between ourselves).
    However, I would like to say that they are awesome! I love them! They have been excellent to use as an ice breaker when new students join the group. Several of the children have anxiety issues and it has been really lovely to see them relaxing and bonding over mutual computer love! They have have also been great at exposing the children to new tech that they may not have come across before, resulting in several students going off to research more about various computers from the cards. 
    Parents stay for our sessions and they thought the cards were great too and I pointed them in the direction of your website, so hopefully they\’ll spread throughout the Home Ed community a bit! As a small, portable resource it\’s fab to be able to sneak in some learning wherever we are and I think they\’re perfect for Home Ed. 
    Thank you for inventing them! You\’re awesome 🙂
    Best Wishes
    Kirstie M
  • We have a small group of very curious and inquisitive students that attend our after school ‘makerspace’ club. The club is designed for students to develop their projects in whatever direction they decide. We are currently delving into the building and programming of computers of all eras, so when I introduced the cards they spent quite some time comparing and analysing the various computer models and specifications included in combat cards and more importantly.. asking lots of questions!

    Ian P


Where did “Trumps” the card game actually come from?

The word “trump” comes from the Latin word “triumphus” meaning “a triumph”. A trump card refers to a card which outranks all other cards. The oldest form of trump card game was probably a 15th Century French or Spanish card game called Triomphe or Triunfo respectively. The modern game as many of us know it started in Austria around the 1800s with an educational card game called Quartets. In the early 1970s, German company Altenburg-Stralsunder released Ace Trumps. This was followed a few years later by British company Dubreq, who released Top Trumps in 1978.

Many computer enthusiasts have created their own computer-themed versions of this popular game including: David Phillips, Simon Johnson, Rachael Duckster, James Abela, Jim Brown, Jamie Mitchell, Richard Herbert, Gavin Craddock, Dominic Pajak, Dave Smale and Mike Jenkins. I do not claim to be the first to create such a game and I hope I am not the last. As technology and the computer science curriculum evolve, I hope this game will inspire others to create their own games or suggest improvements here.


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