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I was a long-time World of Warcraft player. I quit about 4 years ago now, but still have fond memories of the game. Blizzard has a unique sense of humor and charm with their NPC’s and pop culture references sprinkled into their MMO and strong story and character development. Now, those same characters come to life again in the form of a collectible card game.
For fans of the MMORPG, Hearthstone brings back a lot of fun memories of your adventures, and gives you something to do to pass time when you can’t be playing your favorite MMO. For others, who have never played WoW before, fear not as no prior knowledge of the game world is neccessary to enjoy this deck building game.
In fact, if you like other board games and card games, such as Yugioh, Magic the Gathering, or the Pokemon trading card game, you will absolutely love Hearthstone as it lets you build your own decks and collect powerful cards. There’s a lot of strategy involved also in how you play each match against other players in real time making it one of the best trading card games for mobile devices.
Title: Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft
Platform: IOS, Android, or PC
Genre: Collectible Card Game / Deck Building Game
Go here to play it on your PC: us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/
Get it on IOS here: https://itunes.apple.com/…
Grab it for Android here: https://play.google.com…
Overall: 60 / 80 75% C “Good Game for Girls”
Gameplay: 10/10 When the game starts you are given a random hero and some random cards. I started my journey as Jaina Proudmore, the mage. You can play either against computerized opponents, or connect online to play against other players such as yourself. You can either play casually or join “ranked” games – I always choose ranked myself, but it’s a matter of preference. If playing a ranked game, you gain and lose points which at the end of the “season” award various loot. Also when playing ranked, you are matched to an opponent who has approximately the same number of wins vs losses as yourself.
Regardless of which format you choose, more wins with your hero will unlock new class specific cards which you can add to your deck up until level 10. After level 10 you no longer earn cards, but instead every 3rd win will score you some gold which can be used to purchase new cards or enter the arena. (more on that in a bit.) Also, regardless of which style of game you choose, the first time you beat an opponent of one of the other 8 classes you will unlock that hero and be able to begin to level them and unlock their class cards as well.
The arena is a special type of match in which you’re presented a choice of 3 different random heroes, and given a pool of random cards from which to build your deck. It works similar to the (optional) deck builder helper when assembling your decks outside of the arena as well. You start by selecting some class specific cards, then low cost cards, high cost cards, and then it will look and for example, if you need more minions or more spells, etc it will present those cards which it deems to be best to help fill out your deck.
After putting together your arena deck, you go head to head with another player and the gameplay is the same as any other game mode method. The twist is that, after losing for three times, you will be kicked from the arena. You do not keep any of the cards in your deck. Instead, as you fight in the arena, each win will significantly increase your prize pool. At the end, when you’ve been defeated 3 times, you get to collect all of your winnings, these may be things like gold, card packs, crafting materials (used to make new cards), etc.
The card game itself plays very similar to Magic the Gathering. You have a mana pool, but unlike MTG, the mana pool in Hearthstone starts at 1 and increases by 1 each turn. Cards cost varying amounts of mana to put into play. There are “minion” cards which are the main card type, they have a score for attack and also a score for life points. When you attack another player’s minions, your minion will lose life points equal to their minion’s attack power, and their minion will lose life points equal to your minion’s attack power.
Some minions have special abilities such as Taunt which prevents you from attacking any other minions or heroes until that minion is destroyed, or Silence which can remove abilities from cards (such as removing Taunt for example), or Windfury which will allow a minion to attack twice per turn, or Charge which will allow a minion to attack on the same turn that it comes into play. Like MTG, minions have “summoning sickness” and cannot attack on the same turn they come into play, unless they have this ability.
In addition to minion cards, there are also spell and ability cards which can be played also for mana which can for example deal damage to minions or heroes, or heal your minions or your hero, or allow you to draw more cards, or grant abilities (like taunt, or +2 attack etc) to a minion.
The last card type that I’ll touch on, is “Secret” cards, they are played and set to the side until the conditional requirements of the card are met. Only the one who plays the card knows what these conditions are, hence the name “secret” as your opponent will unknowingly activate whatever effect the card has. For example a card may say “whenever a minion dies, put two copies of it into your hand” or “Whenever your hero is attacked, heal your hero by 10 instead”.
The game starts both players with 30 life points for their hero character. Each hero also has a special hero power which can be activated by spending mana. You can also equip your hero with equipment cards to raise the hero’s defense or grant it attack power to let it directly attack heroes and minions on the battlefield.
The object of the game is to lower your opponent’s life points to zero.
Graphics: 5/10 – The graphics are just kinda “okay” – It was neat to see my favorite characters like Thrall and Murlocs and so on. But when I compare to other mobile card games, I’m not blown away by the art, the card images are static, and the attack animations are basically the same for each card, except for spell effects. And let’s face it, it’s not very cute or “kawaii”. Overall I’m just not a fan of the WoW art style. And there are much more “pretty” collectible card games out there with dazzling special effects, animated cards, etc.
Music: 10/10 I super love the music in this game. I think it may be directly from WoW, but it’s been years since I played and can’t recall. It has a very “epic” feeling. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of “Lord of the Ring’s” music from the hit films. It just has a very “grand” and “adventurous” tone to it. It’s great!
Voice Acting 8/10 I love that each card has a battle cry when it enters the battle field, and most ARE taken from WoW and I recognized these little one liners right away. They used the same voice cast and it’s great. I deducted a few points simply because the voice acting is not really a significant portion of the game (such as other games like Lunar, or Dandelion etc where there’s hours and hours of voice acting.) The voice acting is a nice touch though and much appreciated.
Story: 0/10 – There is no story in this game, It doesn’t need one, but my scoring system requires I grade on this criteria, so that’s a zero.
Characters 10/10 – Although there is no story, there are still very iconic characters in this game, such as Thrall, Jaina, the Murlocs, Leper Gnomes, etc. If you are a fan of the lore and world crafted around the WoW franchise, then you will love seeing all of your favorite characters in this game. If you aren’t familiar with WoW, the game is still every bit as fun, but you won’t appreciate the characters as it’s very fan-centric in that regard.
Replay Value: 10/10 – It’s a different game each time you play because of the strategy involved. There’s also the desire to keep playing to earn gold to enter the arena or buy new cards. There’s a lot of strategy, into building your decks, if you get bored, you just pick a new hero and make a new deck and everything feels new again. I don’t think it’s possible to get tired of this game lol.
Overall: 60 / 80 75% C “Good Game for Girls” Note, if you discount the fact there’s no story mode in the game, then it becomes 60/70 or 86% or “Very Good Game for Girls” – it would have even made our top 10 list with that score at time of this writing – and that score more accurately reflects just how fun and addictive this game is. However, for my readers, story is the main thing that they expect in a game so I think it’s important to point out this game lacks in that area. Still really fun and highly recommended.