Even though this game is in the “addiction of the week” section it’s certainly something you can easily spend weeks and months on! As a matter of fact giving it more time will make you appreciate the game more! Blizzard managed to create a winning formula here. A card game that is accessible by anyone. You don’t have to be a card game expert to enjoy this game. If Magic the gathering makes your head hurt with its complex rules then you’ll be really pleased with Hearthstone. Playing just a couple of rounds will be enough to learn the basic rules of the game! For your convenience though here’s a brief description
Your main hero has a total life of 30 points. The cards you play are either minions that attack the opponent for a predefined attack value, or a variety of spells that have a specific effect. Healing a minion, destroying a minion, attacking the main hero character and so on and so forth. Each turn you get a set amount of mana points. You use these mana points to play your cards. The max amount of mana points you can spend after a few turns is 10 mana points. Things can get a bit deeper with combos that can be executed through specific cards or with cards interacting with other cards but it’s still quite simple to understand. And that’s about it! I don’t think it could get any simpler than that!
The arguments against it:
For some though this is the Achilles heel of the game. They find the game too simple and relying too much on luck. But to be honest card games by definition involve a lot of luck. What players call “top decking” ( drawing a card that can turn a losing game in to a winning game) happens all the time from poker to other trading card games.
Sometimes if your opponent gets a good starting hand and keeps getting a better hand than you chances are you will lose. But that’s part of the charm. Trying to build a deck that is fast enough and consistent enough through all different gaming strategies you might encounter.
And this is where things get interesting! There are a lot of different strategies, and basically as long as you’re imaginative and you have the necessary cards you can create some really interesting decks. There are always people playing similar decks with the exact same strategy but every once in a while you will stumble on a really creative and funny deck.
The decks and the strategy behind them can be further enhanced through the 6 different hero classes. For example the Warrior hero has the unique ability to armor up (above your 30 life points), the Druid, Rogue, Mage and Hunter class have the ability to attack. The Priest class can heal and the Warlock class can draw more cards in exchange for some life points. Finally Shamans can create a variety of totems with different qualities (healing, spell damag, attack etc) and Paladins can create attacking units that might be weak in the beginning but can easily be buffed.
Creating decks with a lot of synergy between cards and hero power will result in winning decks, and exciting to watch games especially if you’re watching some experienced players playing those decks.
Another big criticism for the game is it’s pay to win nature. Simply the player that buys more packs will get the better cards and thus be able to easily win. Even though this might be true that has always been the case with trading card games. To the games defense though players can create winning decks with very common cards. There are several people who also rank really high who haven’t even spent any money on the game!
And on top of that blizzard has done something really smart in order to balance the game. There are different ranks for players. You’re always facing players that are close to your rank so you won’t be frustrated by people that have the ability to destroy you in just a couple of turns!
I don’t even know how many hours I’ve logged in to the game! And aside from that how many hours I’ve spent watching other people playing the game! It’s an addiction!I would say even if you’re not convinced you can give it a try and see if it works for you. The level of entry couldn’t get any lower. It’s free!
I will close this post with a few interesting gameplay videos. You might not get everything that is going on but trust me they’re hilarious! On top of that twitch and YouTube is full of gameplay videos and experienced players you can watch for inspiration. Have fun!