By Jerry Maynard
Blizzard has been a major player in computer games for a while and while this game originally started off on the computer its easily made the shift to mobile markets and has become thus far my top game to play on my cell phone when I’m trying to kill time with a phone game. At least its better than sitting in Orgrimmar in lfg, or getting camped by a lvl 100 rogue at level 10 or something
Hearthstone is somewhat of a spin-off of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game which was discontinued a few years ago but this game manages to maintain what made that game fun in my opinion. The game is like any other trading card game in which you build a deck based off of various cards with different effects that allow you to damage your opponent in order to obtain victory such as spells, skills, minions and weapons. What makes the game so much fun is the ties to the World of Warcraft Game itself. Each deck you can make uses a specific hero from the Warcraft universe (or villain depending on the class,) and has you playing that hero’s specific character class. (Ex: Jaina Proudmoore is of the mage class whereas that jerk Garrosh Hellscream is a warrior class.) Each hero has a specific skill which you can use once per turn, (currently anyways,) as long as you have the mana crystals to spend, (more on that later.) Also each class has class specific cards called spells that only that class can use, (ex: wild growth for druids or frostbolt for mages,) while most minions can be used by any class and shared amongst all of the decks of your various heroes. Each of these cards costs a different amount of mana crystals. You gain one mana crystal each turn up to a maximum of ten, (Unless you are a druid… …which means screw patience time to mana ramp! )
As you use your heroes they will level up and you will earn cards for that hero’s class but you will also earn in game currency by completing various quests with different requirements and winning games. This currency is where the game gets more interesting than the average “Ok, win games, buy more cards, win more games.” Also this is probably where I spend most of my time playing/raging over the game.
There are two more modes besides the normal competitive play called Arena and Solo Adventures. Each of these modes costs some of that in game currency I mentioned earlier (or you know you could use real money but who wants to do that when you could just get it for free-fifty.)
Arena mode has you choose one out of three random heroes (Like the beginning of Pokemon!!!) and then building a deck based from that hero’s class from random cards the game lets you choose from. This is more similar to draft style tournaments, for those who are trading card game players, and involves an interesting level of strategy that is a bit different from how one would normally build a deck. You compete until you lose 3 times with that deck and then your run is done and your prizes are based off of how many wins you get.
Solo Adventure has you choose a dungeon based off of one of the actual ones in World of Warcraft and winning cards for each wing you can complete. These dungeons are much harder than the normal AI and feature much more powerful cards but you earn cards you can only obtain from defeating these bosses. Like these!
There is also another mode called Tavern Brawl which allows for various weekly challenges with alterations on the rules of the game that create and interesting twist and add an extra level of gameplay to the mix for those who are wanting a little bit of chaos thrown into the card battling mix. Some of the previous challenges have been things such as getting to play as Nefarion vs Ragnaros and vice versa, or getting a random deck for the class of your choice each game you play or having random minions summoned for you based off of your cards you use.
Overall I’d give this game a 7.8 out of 10 and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys trading card games and enjoys not spending boatloads of money when you may or may not win…..
also…FOR THE HORDE