I know, i know, i really must play some Starcraft 2 as well, but ever since i’ve received closed beta acces in december (now it’s open for all, so you might as well give it a try if you hadn’t already) i couldn’t stop playing this great CCG (card collectible game) as i found out this genre is called.
I never played Magic: The gathering but i know what it was and what it did for the genre, only i didn’t have time to try it at that time. Now i’ve heard people say Hearthstone is a simplified version of MTG, as it was Blizzard’s purpose to make they game more popular and accesible for a wide range of gamers. So, don’t let the name fool you, i never played World of Warcraft either and that isn’t a requirment for understanding and enjoying Hearthstone.
So, long story short, you choose a hero from the 9 available ones and using cards (that can bring minions into play or spells) you must reduce your opponent’s health to 0. The basics are really simple to learn, and the 30 minute – 1 hour tutorial games will give an understanding of the mechanics involved and the strategy at large. Ofcourse, the finner aspects of the game will be learned over time, as you get to know all the heroes, their special abilities and both the class-specific and neutral cards. The same as in Starcraft 2, the system will try to match you with equal skill opponents, whom you can play either on ladder or in unranked “casual” games and, in my favourite game mode, THE ARENA 😛
Yes, the game is free to play, and as long as you dedicate enough time to it, you will have the same benefits as the other players who use real money in order to purchase card packs or pay for an arena. The arena game mode is the thing that makes Hearthstone a great game, as it lets you choose a totally random deck of cards each time and you play vs other players who also select 30 cards from random ones. So, yeah, it’s about luck as well, but mainly skill, as you have to make the best of what you got and try to outwit your opponent. The Arena is a lot more fun in my opinion than the “constructed” mode you play on ladder, as here you can have more than 2 cards of the same type, have acces to cards you haven’t unlocked yet and because of the great succeses and failures that come with this game mode. Here are some of my plays: