Hearthstone is a strategy card game that is based on the World of Warcraft game (W.O.W) series. Wait, you haven’t played W.O.W.? Well neither have I, and you don’t actually need any prior knowledge of the universe to get into the game. I started playing the game at the beginning of last year (2016), and I am still playing on a daily basis. Being a strategy card game, it is PvP (player vs. player), and you have a card collection that you build up over time. You start off with some basic cards, but not to worry, you are also matched up with players of similar skill.
The user interface has a well thought, simple design, which makes it easy to navigate. When you’re in the main menu, it only takes two mouse clicks to get a game started!
The game play is very simple, yet enjoyable due to deck customization and strategy. There are nine different hero classes, and each one has a unique power and cards. Each player chooses their hero and deck to use before going into battle. Which is combined into a single selection. There are also two different categories of standard play; casual and ranked.
Casual is meant for new players to get a feel for the game, and to test out decks before playing ranked. Ranked play isn’t the same as competition level, so no reason to fret. The game play is the same as casual, but beating your opponent gains you stars, which leads to level advancement, and losing stars does the opposite. This ultimately leads to rewards at the end of each season, including a new card back for reaching level 20, and the better your rank is, the better the prize (in-game content such as card packs, coins, arcane dust, etc).
This is how the game board (user interface) is set up. Each player starts with 30 health, and the first one to eliminate the opponent’s health wins. Note: Each player has the option to concede, giving the other player the win. Down in the right hand corner, you can see the blue icon that says 8/8. This is the mana crystals, and the count always starts at one crystal. It goes up by one for each turn until it reaches 10. This is important because all the cards have a mana crystal cost. When it is your turn, all your available options are highlighted in green, like in the above image. When you have no more available options, the end turn option is highlighted in green. Sounds simple enough right?
This game is very well designed and easy to pick up. Hearthstone is also free to play, so what’s keeping you from trying it out? It’s available on PC, IOS, and Android, and includes tablet versions of the mobile operating systems. PC requires Blizzard’s Battle.net platform, and can be downloaded here. Mobile versions can be downloaded from Google Play, and Apple Store. It is also supports cross-platform play, so you can play with anyone across all systems. Note: there are micro-transactions, but is tastefully done since all purchases can be done with in-game currency. I haven’t spent any real money on this game since I stated playing, but i can’t say the same about my friends.
In my next post, I will talk more about hearthstone, including the different game modes, deck strategies, and more! Until then, you can check out some of my game play videos here, and hopefully play some yourself.