Hearthstone is a free to play, competitive card game that was officially launched on the 11th of March 2014. The game was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment on various platforms including PC, macOS, iOS and Android and has won numerous prizes and awards over the years. While the original game has received a few expansion packs such as Rise of Shadows and Rastakhan’s Rumble, the core elements and mechanics of the game have more or less remained the same as they were when the original game launched.
Hearthstone is a trading card game that is set in the vast universe of Warcraft which is a fictional universe created by Blizzard Entertainment. As such, all of the characters, creatures, classes, weapons and even spells are taken from the Warcraft universe. Upon entering the game, players get to select one of the familiar Warcraft classes such as Warrior, Priest, Druid, Paladin, etc. After doing so, players will be able to construct their own deck out of the cards that are specific to their chosen class as well as neutral cards that are available to every class. Cards can be created by turning existing cards into raw materials and then using those materials to create new ones, earned through playing the game and winning matches or by purchasing card packs which contain random cards inside. Once the player is satisfied with their deck, they can play against other opponents in either casual or ranked games as well as complete single-player adventures against AI opponents.
Since it is a card game, Hearthstone has a turn-based combat system in which both players take turns to make their moves and execute their plays. There are multiple types of cards such as spells, creatures that have unique effects and weapons which hero characters can equip and the number of cards that players can use during a single turn is limited by the mana crystals that players have available. Each turn players naturally replenish their mana crystals and raise their number by one every single turn, and every card requires a certain amount of mana in order to be used. All of these elements affect the deck construction before the game even begins and players should keep them in mind when designing their decks and their playing strategies. Summoned creatures have to spend at least one turn on the board in order to attack unless it is indicated differently by the creature’s effect.
As far as graphics go, in a card game such as this, they don’t hugely affect the game. The color pallets are vibrant and mostly taken from the pre-existing assets of Warcraft. They fit the game well and make it look decent but there isn’t a big accent on them.
All in all, Hearthstone is a very good card game set in the Warcraft universe, and if one or both of those are your cup of tea, you are likely to have a good time playing Hearthstone. It is a fun card game that will likely provide the players with at least a few hours of fun, however, there are a couple of downsides to it. Although the cards can be crafted, with so many expansion packs released, it is almost impossible to earn or create cards that you want and players can find it very hard to keep up with which pushes players towards purchasing the card packs. On the flip side of that coin, with so many expansion packs and cards, it literally can cost hundreds of dollars to get the exact cards that players want which over the years has really turned away many players and shrunken the player base significantly.