Hearthstone – Preview
Follow Genre: Cardgame
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform: PC, OS X, iPad

Hearthstone – Preview

Good: Easy to learn and well paced
Bad: Minor minimizing errors
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

When you hear the term ‘Trading card game’, you’re most likely thinking about games such as ‘Pokémon’ and ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’. These card games are the ones a lot of people grew up with. Blizzard is bringing the concept of trading card games to the PC in an all new game they called ‘Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft’.

HS logo

Blizzard has been known for developing the ‘Warcraft’, ‘Diablo’ and ‘Starcraft’ series, some of the most addicting and competitively played games out there. Hearthstone is certainly one of the games which will be played for hours a day by a lot of Blizzard fans.

Hearthstone doesn’t really have any story behind it, it’s quite simple, destroy your enemy to win the match. While the game doesn’t have a story, Blizzard does use some of the well-known World of Warcraft NPC’s as the heroes in the game. Together with these heroes, you can also find other NPC’s in the tutorial of the game and on playable cards.

The game is very easy to learn and invites everyone to try it out. The tutorial explains everything you need to know about the game with just six missions and it keeps it fun and active with the fast paced gameplay. If you haven’t played any card games before trying hearthstone, don’t worry. You’ll learn to play this game in a heartbeat and be able to have hours of fun or just play a couple of games before going to bed if you don’t have a lot of time.

That Hearthstone is easy to understand is already shown when you have just finished the tutorial. The game gives the player a chance to play three different game modes which are nicely shown on the start menu. Besides these game modes, you also find a store, a quest log, your collection and a possibility to open your new packs.

hearthstone start

Each player starts off with nine basic decks given to you after you unlock every hero. To unlock a hero, the player has to defeat this hero using the basic mage deck you get after the tutorial. Each hero has their own ‘play style’, the hunter can use beasts to defeat their opponent while the warrior will use any weapons they can to crush their enemy.

HS play

While playing a battle, both players get cards to start off and one mana crystal. Mana crystals are used by the player to play cards. When the player’s mana crystals are used, you can’t play any cards that cost mana until your next turn when they replenish. A player wins the game when an opponent’s health reaches zero (or lower) or when an opponent concedes. To bring the enemy hero down, you can use spell cards, your hero ability or unit cards to deal damage. A spell card can either be a spell used immediately or a spell which holds a secret. An immediately used spell can be a fireball dealing damage while a secret can be a hunter trap which is triggered when the hunter is attacked by its opponent.

HS field

Hearthstone is currently in closed beta but will be a free to play game when released later this year (2013). Cards can be unlocked either by using gold you earn in game or buying them with real money using a credit card or the funds on your battle.net account.  Buying cards with real money is entirely up to the player and is not necessary to be able to play the game.

After opening packs of cards, you can find multiple types of cards. Some of the cards you find can be basic or common, rare and even legendary. You can also find golden cards which have a gold border and an animation; these are special versions of other cards. Legendary cards are the least common cards; these cards are the well-known World of Warcraft NPC’s you can play on the board during a battle. When playing a legendary card on the board, both players get to hear a special quote from the NPC which is used in World of Warcraft. Each legendary card has its own ability related to the NPC you played. An example of one of the legendary cards is Nozdormu using a sort of time warp when played.

HS cards

When a player has unlocked cards, he can create his own custom deck using these cards. While creating a custom deck, a player chooses between the nine heroes and chooses 30 of his unlocked cards to put in the deck. The player can give his custom decks certain names to recognize them or just use the default name.

My conclusion is that the game has much potential to become big. The game will be free to play which means it’s open for everyone to play. Besides some very minor flaws the game has, such as minimizing errors while loading, the game will be ready for release soon, able to be enjoyed by everyone.



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Hearthstone - Preview, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

1 Comment

  1. […] Blizzard has kicked off The Year of the Phoenix in Hearthstone with a new expansion called Ashes of Outland. While Hearthstone has been receiving expansions regularly, this one is somewhat special as it will introduce a new class: Demon Hunter. Since the original release 6 years ago Hearthstone has always had 9 classes. This will surely shake up the game. The expansion will add 135 new cards to the game and as usual new mechanics are added as well. Primes are a new sort of legendaries, they have 2 forms, an early to mid-game form which once killed will shuffle his big end-game form into your deck. Imprisoned Demons will also make their entrance, they enter the game dormant and will wake up after 2 turns with a devastating effect. Logging into the game before June 29, 2020, will grant you the Legendary minion Kael’Thas for free. Players returning to the game after a long time will get a free competitive deck and all players will have access to several quests to gain several packs to help you get started on building a deck. Besides various improvements everywhere, the Priest class is getting a big overhaul to reinforce its identity. But the biggest improvement might be in the opening of packs, you should no longer be receiving more than 2 copies of the same card, this should help a lot in gathering all the cards. You can find our preview of the original game right here. […]

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