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When Blizzard announced they were making a digital CCG, we all expected it to look and sound beautiful, and there was little doubt that it would be well-balanced, but I don't think anyone anticipated this level of sophistication and subtle brilliance. Its turn-based nature and straightforward mechanics make this one of the most immediately accessible competitive games ever devised, but at the same time its depth is positively cavernous.
This type of call-and-response has always been the lifeblood of card games but Hearthstone's position as one of the first potentially mass-market CCGs with an excellent online infrastructure makes things exciting. As for the 'free-to-play' tag, this is one of the few games that will make Western players love the business model. It's as simple as that.
In fact, Hearthstone is unlike a lot of games. It's a card strategy game that is bright and accessible. It's a free-to-play game with generosity of spirit. Heck, it may not have all the features its fans are demanding just yet, but it's even a Blizzard game where "coming soon" actually means coming soon. It's overflowing with character and imagination, feeds off and fuels a vibrant community of players and performers, and it only stands to improve as Blizzard introduces new features, an iPad version and expansions. And now it's finally finished! I can't wait to see where it goes next. Job's done.
'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' provides endless hours digital card entertainment with familiar Blizzard lore and mechanics at a price that is as cheap as you want it to be.
Hearthstone is accessible and fun. Even without purchasing cards it's a very fun game to play and winning repeatedly is very possible. The game's mechanics are easily learned, but combining them into a winning strategy is a complex and fun process.
As someone who hasn't touched collectible card games since the mid-1990s — and hasn't played Warcraft since it was still a real-time strategy game — I'm amazed at not only how quickly I picked up Hearthstone but also how much I've played it. It's easy to learn, easy to get into matches and play, and it's fun. It's led me to check out other digital card games — and I'm again surprised at how much I enjoy these.
Hearthstone is addictive, highly strategic, and chock-full of fun collectible card battling; the fact that it's totally free (if you want it to be) makes it one of the best values in gaming today. This is your new obsession; embrace it.
Whether you want to treat Hearthstone as a frivolous time-waster, or you're looking for a new obsession, the game is a blast either way. It caters to every type of player. If you're a Warcraft fan, there are plenty of nods to the series you love. And even if you've never crafted war, it really doesn't matter. Hearthstone is thoughtful and complex, but at the same time welcoming and almost irresistible. It may just be a card game, but it often feels like so much more.
Hearthstone might not fully scratch the strategy itch of the most advanced CCG/TCG players, but it makes an impressive attempt. The rules are simple, so anybody can get the hang of it, but there are enough deck variations available that only skilled deck builders and players will make it high in the ranks.
Hearthstone does for collectible card games what World of Warcraft did for MMOs: taking a niche genre and transforming it into a mainstream-friendly hit that's primed for success. It's hugely accessible and incredibly enjoyable, even when you're getting crushed, yet there are layers upon layers of strategy to be explored. If you haven't tried Hearthstone yet, then do so - just don't blame us if you can't give it up.
It is safe to say that we can expect Blizzard Entertainment to come up with more ways to make Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft more fun and more enticing. As the developers did claim how creating a game like Hearthstone is something quite out of their comfort zone but despite of their worries, it did turn out quite well and still has a lot of room for improvement. It makes me wonder how far they can go with this game when the world knows that Blizzard Entertainment goes all out when it comes to jaw dropping updates and making things more interesting.
Heroes of Warcraft is an amazing game that knows how to make use of a free-to-play business model. While the absence of a tournament mode is a let down it's not enough to destroy its re-playability.
On a more personal level, Hearthstone is solid enough that if it gets its hooks in you, they will dig deep. The game takes on a Civilization-like level of addictiveness where instead of one more turn, you'll often tell yourself "just one more game". That one more game can quickly become five, or ten, or more depending on how much time you have to spend and I imagine this is going to only be amplified once the mobile versions of the game come online.
If Hearthstone looks too static and boring or even too simplified and limited, you'll be hard pressed after playing the game to not want to spend more time in this wonderful off-shoot of the Warcraft universe.
Hearthstone is a free-to-play collectible card game that embraces new players through its presentation and simplicity and satisfies veterans with complex strategies hidden between the lines.
Overall Hearthstone is a lot of fun to play, and has potential to be a game that stays around for a long time. While it may not be as complicated as an actual collectible card game, or have the appeal of showing off your collection to your friends, it is a great videogame that has minimal issues and is in a neat package, so it would be foolish to try to compare it to something it's not trying to be.
Video gamers may wonder why they would play a card game when their medium has moved beyond such limitations; tabletop gamers may bemoan the fact that people are getting excited about the wrong card game. But if you fall awkwardly between those two groups, Hearthstone will keep you hooked for some time.
Hearthstone is at its peak and doesn't seem to be even going to slow down. Frequent updates, regular in-game events and a full-fledged dialogue between developers and their audience rightfully make the brainchild of Blizzard Entertainment one of the most interesting online projects in recent years.
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And that's why I love Hearthstone, but hate recommending Hearthstone. I think it's an incredible game. It's pervasive: I love that I can spend a few hours slumped in front of my PC playing, then transfer to an ipad to play casually while watching bad telly. I love being part of the community – browsing new deck ideas and ranting with friends about how overpowered Grim Patron really is.
All of which makes us a little suspicious. Are we being suckered with the sweet stuff now, only to be hit with expensive expansions later? Perhaps, but we'll revise our view if and when Blizzard introduces the CCG equivalent of WOW's 'Sparkle Pony'. For now, Hearthstone is very much a triumph, and with a mobile client rolling out there's a sense that we're at the beginning of a phenomenon rather than in the midst of one. Yet again, Blizzard seems to have played its cards absolutely right.
Overall, Hearthstone is another fantastic game from Blizzard. If you're even remotely interested in trading card games, you'd be crazy not to give it a go, especially as it's free. But beware, as always, the micro-transactions.
Overall, Hearthstone is a well-executed and fun card game, one which lives the "easy to learn, hard to master" mantra to the utmost. If you like either card games or Warcraft, this is definitely worth checking out. And if you - like me - are a fan of both, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try.
When the decks are all shuffled and the cards are dealt, Hearthstone shines as a fantastic casual free-to-play digital card game. If you're looking for a bit more substance, though, you might want to go elsewhere.