I wrote this to post on Game Boyz, where I’m the iPhone editor (and only active poster for over the last year). However, the site appears to be down. Because it was already written, I decided to post it here, even though it’s not the type of writing I usually do here. Note that Game Boyz reviews are required to have sections for introduction, graphics, sound, gameplay, and conclusion.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is Blizzard’s online collectible card game based in the Warcraft universe. Fans of Warcraft should be familiar with a lot of characters and themes in the game, while fans of earlier CCGs should be familiar with the game mechanics. It reminds me of a simplified and more fun Magic: The Gathering set in the Warcraft universe.
Hearthstone was first released on PCs in March of 2014 and before that time was in an extensive beta. The iPhone and Android phone version of Hearthstone is very similar to the PC version but uses smaller graphics and a condensed interface. It’s very playable, and I have no problem switching between the two versions.
The graphics are still great even on the smaller screen. In both the PC and the phone versions, you can select cards to get a closer view of them. Because of this, you don’t really lose much graphically. The game boards on PC have interactive parts in each corner. For example, clicking the hanging sign on the house on one board enough times causes it to break. On the phone, two of these have been removed to make room for the interface. I miss clicking on them mindlessly, but they’re not vital.
The audio is still excellent in this version of Hearthstone. There are a ton of sound effects in the game. As far as I can tell, each card has a unique sound, and they’ve all made the jump to phones. If you play enough, you might know what card’s being played just based on the sound. It’s a high level of polish.
Hearthstone is Hearthstone, regardless of platform. You’re still using the same account with the same people playing because it’s completely cross-platform. Hearthstone is free-to-play, but you can spend real money as well. Everyday you get a quest. It might ask you to win three games as a mage, deal 100 damage, etc. Completing a quest earns you gold that you can spend to purchase adventures or card packs. You can also spend real money in place of gold.
To save space in the mobile version, your hand is tucked into the corner in the bottom-right. When you tap on it, it pops up into the center on the bottom so you can select one to read it in full. It’s a good way to save screen real estate and is very smooth once you start using it.
Card packs contain additional cards with a chance at rarer cards, similar to buying cards in traditional CCGs. Expansions add many new cards. So far, one expansion has been released – Goblins vs Gnomes. Adventures on the other hand are single-player challenges. You fight against NPCs using decks that might not be completely balanced for every class. You’ll usually need to make custom decks to beat them. In addition to a normal mode, they also contain a harder, heroic mode as well as class challenges. Adventures follow stories from WoW and contain voice-acted introductions. They reward cards as well, although adventures introduce less cards than expansions.
Curse of Naxxramas released in July, but Hearthstone just got something new. Blackrock Mountain was released April 2 of this year, making this the perfect time to get into (or back into) Hearthstone. It has five wings – Blackrock Depths, which contains the Grim Guzzler, Dark Iron Arena, and Emperor Thaurissan; Molten Core, which contains Garr, Baron Geddon, and Ragnaros the Firelord; Blackrock Spire (releasing April 16), which contains Highlord Omokk, General Drakkisath, and Rend Blackhand; Blackwing Lair (releasing April 23), which contains Razorgore the Untamed, Vaelastrasz the Corrupt, Chromaggus, and Lord Victor Nefarius; and the Hidden Laboratory (releasing April 30), which contains Omnotron Defense System, Maloriak, Atramedes, and Nefarian.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has always been an excellent card game, and now it can finally be played on phones as well. I’ve never spent money in the game and have still had a blast with it. Whether you’ve played the PC version or not, I highly recommend you download Hearthstone on your iPhone or Android phone. Getting in a quick match in bed before going to sleep is a new perk that I really enjoy. For the Horde!