game thoughts: Hearthstone

Playing Hearthstone beta with my bro #hearthstone

When I first heard about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard’s new online collectible card game, I rolled my eyes. I had never played any CCGs in real life and I couldn’t imagine myself playing one virtually.

Then my brother texted me about the open beta and asked if I was going to try it. So I found my old account, logged in and downloaded the game to just give it a try. And now I’m sucked into it.

I’m sure veteran card gamers will probably feel the same way about Hearthstone as most hard-core MMORPG players feel about WoW – it is very accessible, easy for casual players to pick up. That’s why I love it. You can launch this game and start playing through the tutorial and you’ll have the basics down in minutes. You can stay in the “Practice” zone for as long as you like to work on strategy and earn cards for your main deck, but the real fun begins when you start to challenge actual players. Since it is all linked to your account, all your WoW friends automatically populate your player list so it would be easy to suck friends into card battles, maybe while waiting for the rest of your guild to log online for game night.

The cards all have that great WoW art look and the sound effects and sayings from your favorite in-game characters are played with each card.

I gave up on WoW itself a long time ago, I couldn’t justify the cost vs actual time I spent gaming. It was fun but my Xbox was gathering dust and it felt silly to keep paying for the same game over and over when I had brand new games to try. But Hearthstone is free! As far as I can tell, it’s going to be free.

Now, you can **pay** to get extra special cards, and I haven’t really experienced a game against someone of that level yet. Already you can give Blizzard real money and earn a limited edition card for when the game officially launches. I’ve only played the Casual matches and they have been lots of fun but I am thinking that the Ranked matches in the Arena will be a lot rougher and you will find the people willing to pay real money for virtual cards playing in that section.

But right now I’m having a hella lot of fun trying to complete my rogue deck and playing against random opponents. If you’re looking for a fun way to kill 30 minutes, download the demo and play a few games (nice feature: there is a clock in the game so you can see what time it is).

Have you tried Hearthstone yet? What do you think?