Hello Fellow Gamers!
So yesterday was my birthday!!! But that’s besides the point. In my email hidden through the spam crap I found a wonderful little gem! This just happened to be a little email from Blizzard Entertainment with, wait for it, a HEARTHSTONE BETA KEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, I screamed like a little girl for a bit and probably pissed someone off on RaidCall, but anyways, I digress. I hit download and went out for some frivolities and, when I returned, it was fully downloaded. Needless to say, the next two hours were spent playing and enjoying Hearthstone for all its glory! Here is my review.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play, deck building game set in the world of Warcraft. The best way to describe it is a pseudo-Magic the Gathering game, so if you are familiar with that, you should catch on really easily. The basic premise of the game is that each turn you gain one mana until you wind up with a total of 10. With this mana, you are able to play cards which are also drawn each turn. These cards can be summed up into three categories: spells, equipment, and minion. Spell cards are exactly what they sound like, you play it and whatever action is on the card occurs, be it six damage is given to any card of your choice or draw three cards, there are a variety of spells for any strategy you wish to perform. The next card type is equipment. These are weapon cards played on your hero that have an attack and a durability, granting your hero attack points for a certain number of attacks. The final card is your minion card. Minion cards are exactly like creature cards in Magic, they are there to do the bulk of your damage as well as to protect your hero from losing life points. Like Magic, these cards have the potential to have special abilities attached to them, but this doesn’t really matter right now.
Anyways, now that you know the basics, the game actually starts off by giving you a really cool tutorial which gives you a chance to play as the Mage hero as you fight some of the variety of characters that populate Hearthstone. This section is definitely your standard tutorial, essentially rigging it so that you are guaranteed to win these first couple of matches.
So I played the intro rounds and proceeded to work on gaining access to new decks by defeating the AI whose deck you’re trying to get. At this point, I have four of the nine decks unlocked. I’ve also leveled up the decks that I have, which allows for access to new cards. This is a pretty sweet dynamic. When you play a game like Magic: the Gathering, you only get new cards whenever you purchase them. With Hearthstone however, you are rewarded for time played in the game by leveling up and gaining new cards as well as gaining tokens to spend in the store to purchase new packs! There is also the option to spend real money and get new packs with the highest purchase being $49.99 and the cheapest being $3.99, the same cost for a Magic: The Gathering booster pack! So with this there’s a trade off on whether or not you want to put ridiculous hours in playing to get new cards or drop some dough and get them instantly!
As a game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has a variety of elements which make it a fun and exciting game to play. Magic: The Gathering players will find that it is very easy to catch on to! It also provides an excellent tutorial which teaches the finer intricacies of the game quickly and effectively. My only problem with it is that it can take a while once you start to get to the point of some of the people who have been playing the beta since day one unless you’re willing to drop a ton o’ cash to get a bunch of boosters!
Easy to learn, exciting interface, cool game play locations, and awesome character relations to the Warcraft universe.
Requires a lot of gameplay to get to a point where you’re getting many new cards while maintaining the free-to-play aspect and not using in-game purchases.
- How ‘Hearthstone’ Could Change The PC Gaming Landscape (forbes.com)
- Hearthstone Beta Thoughts (killtenrats.com)
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (geeksanctuary.wordpress.com)
- Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft – First Impressions (30plusgamer.com)