Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

from , originally released 31st December, 1969

Requires an Internet connection and iPad 2 or better.

DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE. INSANELY FUN.
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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Review

Does any company have a better grasp on what makes a game triple-A than Blizzard? The company responsible for Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo, three genre-defining blockbuster franchises, has decided to step into the collectible card game genre with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Although this is Blizzard’s first attempt at an online card game, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s packed with detail and play-tested to perfection. 

Similar to other iPad card-battling games like Rage of Bahamut or Magic 2014, Hearthstone is a free download that gives you the option of spending money to build your in-game deck. Fortunately, you can still get hours of enjoyment without paying a dime– just be warned, you might encounter a few players with deep pockets and a deck full of dragons.

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After a lengthy tutorial that breaks down the game’s simple mechanics, you’ll have the ability to jump into an online match, customize your deck, or practice against the game’s artificial intelligence. When you start playing online, your characters will level up with each win or loss, unlocking unique cards that can only be used by that character type. With each new character you defeat online, you’ll be able to play as them, for a total of nine playable classes.

Once all nine classes are unlocked, there’s an extremely fun and challenging bonus mode called The Arena. Here, you’re given a supercharged deck and are expected to last as long as possible against a string of online opponents with equally overpowered cards. The longer you survive, the larger your rewards. While your first entrance into The Arena is free, subsequent visits will cost 150 units of in-game currency, which can alternatively buy you a card booster pack or cost you several hours of playtime.

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With so many cards to unlocked, the best way to advance is to just keep playing, and it’s not a chore at all. Each match can last ten to fifteen minutes, and while the luck of the draw is a factor, you can customize your deck to take advantage of emerging strategies. For example, playing as the Warlock means that you can sacrifice two hits of damage for an extra card. Balancing your hit points and hand is a recurring theme of every online match, which often comes down to the wire in a dramatic showdown.

If this was a bare-bones card game with well-balanced gameplay, that’d probably be enough to make it worth a try. But then again, it wouldn’t be Blizzard. Every piece of card art, background screen, and attack animation in Hearthstone shows a great deal of planning, with perfect execution. Cards shimmer with special effects to indicate their abilities– they’ll cloud over with smoke when they’re stealthy, or flutter in the wind when they have extra attacks. The card art is evocative, with many familiar Warcraft faces like trolls and murlocs. And the epic cards, when you encounter them, will blow you away with their devastating attacks.

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From the way the screen rumbles when you take heavy damage to the interactive catapults and banners that line the edges of the screen, Hearthstone  is an unbelievably absorbing online experience. Even if you’re already invested in other online card games, Hearthstone will dominate your attention for months. Don’t miss out on this incredibly fun, free game– it may be the best iOS app you’ll download all year.

More stories on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Interesting via Touch Arcade:

Hearthstone May Come to iPhone April 9

This is far from confirmed, but some sleuthing data-miners have looked into the nitty gritty of the Hearthstone iPad app and found some clues that point toward the game going universal on April 9. Or April 2. We’ll see. You can read the details at Touch Arcade here.

Now, before you go accusing us of reading internet tea leaves here, consider this-Goblins vs Gnomes was data mined in the same way which revealed the Android version of Hearthstone. Goblins vs Gnomes launched a few days later on December 8th, then the Android version of Hearthstone was released a week later on the 15th.

Via Touch Arcade

News via Touch Arcade:

All 31 Upcoming Hearthstone Cards Revealed

Want to know what cards are coming to Hearthstone in the next update? Of course you do, because the game is amazing. Touch Arcade has runs down the most interesting ones, so hop on over and plan your next custom deck.

The first wing of Blackguard Mountain Adventure will unlock on April 2nd in the Americas and April 3rd in Europe, Asia, and China, and you can preorder the whole adventure for $24.99 to get the exclusive card back. If you’d rather spend in-game gold for the adventure, you can still get the whole thing when it’s released, but no card back for you.

Via Touch Arcade

Interesting via GameSpot:

Hearthstone on iPhone Will Support Cross-Play with iPad and PC

Good news, card game fans. When Hearthstone lands on iPhone (whenever that may be), it will be compatible with the iPad and PC versions. That means it won’t some neutered version of the game, and you’ll be able to compete against people playing on larger devices. The news comes from an interview GameSpot gave to Eric Dodds, one of the lead designers of the game.

“When you start a match on a phone, you could be playing someone on another phone, someone on a tablet, on a PC, who knows? It’s all one big ecosystem,” he said.

Via GameSpot

Deals via Touch Arcade:

Pre-Order Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain Expansion and Get an Exclusive Card Back

The Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain is coming in April. If you pre-order it now, you’ll immediately get the Molten Core card back for free.

If you buy [the expansion] for $24.99, you’ll get the Molten Core card back for free, which can’t be obtained otherwise. You will, of course, be able to buy the expansion with 700 gold or in multiple wings for $6.99 each, just like “Curse of Naxxramas.”

Via Touch Arcade