Hearthstone is a fairly new online trading card game by Blizzard; it features many of blizzards well known characters as decks, such as Jaina Proudmoore as the mage and Thrall as the shaman. The game is based differently from other trading card games as there is no table-top based version of the game like with Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon, and Magic: The Gathering. The game is entirely based online and this allows for some nice looking additional features you wouldn’t find when playing a trading card game online, the characters representing the deck(s) you choose to use have voice interactions with each other and the game, card effects are actually acted out when you play them and your cards actually attack the enemy’s.
There are a lot of good points about the gameplay itself, for as long as I’ve played it now which is roughly about a month and a half, I have yet to encounter any bugs on it, it all runs really smoothly, I haven’t had any problems with lag or anything of that sort. This game isn’t too much about graphics, with it being a simple card game you probably could of guessed that, however they aren’t that bad, I personally think that they are quite high end when compared to other trading card games you can play online but this could be because unlike other trading card games this is solely based online so Blizzard probably figured they wanted it to stand out from your standard online Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic: The Gathering online game. Another cool feature about this is that Blizzard has plans to release the game onto iPhones, Android, iPads and Android tablets, meaning that you don’t have to be at a computer to use it and if your phone has an internet connection you can play online wherever you are, or similarly if you’re using a tablet you can play offline wherever you are or online if you happen to be near a Wi-Fi hotspot, still regardless of whether or not you feel like playing cards on a long bus ride as opposed to listening to music it is something that you can’t do with other card games unless you have a deck on you and playing Pokémon while in motion can get challenging.
Within Hearthstone there are many ways to customize your deck(s), each deck is capable of levelling up as you play with it, unlocking new deck specific cards for that deck, there are also quite a lot of non-specific cards to collect and use to customize. However, this is a card game and as with all card games a few decks usually top the list and win most duels versus others. Hearthstone although in beta is not exempt from this meta of card games, so while there may be a decent amount of customization in the game, (considering it’s a beta) those of you that enjoy competitive card playing will find that there are only two or three decks capable of actually winning games, getting into it you find that the game doesn’t so much rely on skill as to what cards you have and whether you get dealt a better hand than your opponent.
Overall I would give the game an 4/5 – it has good gameplay, decent special effects, plenty of features for characters and the cards implemented in the game are good, however the very dominate meta-game dropped the two points for me as it makes it hard to play when you’re constantly up against top tier decks while trying to test one out.
Hearthstone is currently in a closed beta stage and the open beta/fully released game should be released sometime in the near future.