Review: Hearthstone

Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Blizzard
Genre: Board Game
ESRB: T
Price: FTP

Content Warning:

Nothing to report here.

Story:

No story in this game.

Gameplay:

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Hearthstone is a collectible card game like Magic: The Gathering.  I have never played Magic so I don’t know how much they are like each other, I have been told Hearthstone is more basic than Magic.  This is a good thing for Blizzard as they have managed to make a accessible game that is easy for people to get into and have fun, no matter your experience level in these types of games.  What makes it great is it is easy to understand how to play but is difficult to master.  After fifteen or so games I still find myself making very stupid mistakes and losing games I should have won if I had not just made that very stupid mistake.  There is so much to learn to get good at this game.

In Hearthstone you play an opponent.  You both have 30 cards in your deck.  Each card has a number in the upper left corner that tell you the mana cost to use that card.  Cards can be minions, attack bonuses, health, shields, attack, draw more cards, etc.  Minions played will show up on the battlefield and have an attack number that how many hit points they attack for and a number to show how many hit points they have.  Once a minion is played it will sleep until your next turn.  That is unless it has charge.  Minions can attack once per turn unless it is asleep or frozen.  Attacking with minions does not cost you mana.  Only playing cards and using your special ability cost mana.  You only have a finite amount of mana each turn.  First round you only get 1 mana.  A mana is added to each player every round until you reach 10.  After which you only get 10 mana each round.  Each hero gets 30 hit points.  The goal is to reduce the hit points of your opponent’s hero to zero before they do yours.

Completing daily challenges will give you money you can use to buy packs of cards.  100 coins for one pack of cards.  You use these cards to build out your deck and make it better.  You can also use real money to buy packs of cards if earning money is too slow for you.  Like Magic or your favorite sports cards, you will get a pack of random cards.  They could be cards specific to any of the 9 heros in the game or they could be cards that any hero can use.  So building solid deck of cards for your favorite hero will take a long time.  You can also turn unwanted cards into arcane dust which you then can use to create more cards.

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You can either use a deck of card designed for a certain hero or you can build your own decks for each hero.  The deck builder assistant is great as it gets you to select 1 card out of 3 shown to you.  It will do this 30 times until you have a deck of 30 cards.  It helps you balance your deck by making you choose a certain number of class specific card, cards that cost a certain mana, and minion cards.  From here you can tweak the deck all you want.

The gameplay is so addictive and always had me talking myself into just one more game each time I finished playing one.

Presentation:

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Blizzard being Blizzard, the presentation of Hearthstone is great.  The graphics are expertly and beautifully crafted.  It is the little things like how the cards move onto the board and then turn into either a minion or manifest themselves in a brutal attack.  It is also how the tile of the hero explodes into shards upon defeat.  The sound is equally great.  You would have to assume that they have a backlog of all the sounds from there World of Warcraft games.

The Bottom Line

Blizzard has hit another one out of the park with a accessible yet complex collectible card game.  Hearthstone is addictive and fun.  If you have an iPad.  Get this game.  It is free to buy and play.  It only asks for money if you want to create a superior deck fast.

 

9

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Jonathan Klassen

Just a small city, Christian boy from the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Go Riders Go! I have a wife (Andrea), a son (Ethan) and another one on the way.

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