Hearthstone: a card game on a tablet done right

Updated: 2014-05-17 06:49

By Eric Jou (China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Hearthstone: a card game on a tablet done right

Blizzard's latest offering Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft makes this tablet computing game simple and accessible to all in a gorgeous and easy-to-use interface.

At a glance

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Platform: iOS iPad only
Price: Free
Languages: Chinese, Japanese, English, Korean, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish.

Growing up in the 1990s in the United States, collectable card games were all the rage. Be it Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh or Magic the Gathering, collecting cards and "battling" was the bee's knees. But in the tablet space, no one's done a card game justice - that is until Hearthstone.

Blizzard, the company behind video game mega hits such as Starcraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft, has come out swinging on tablet computing with their latest offering, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Taking part in the Warcraft universe, the player takes control of a hero in a series of one-on-one card duels using their respective decks. Each deck is made up of 30 cards comprised of spell, weapon or minion. Each player is given 30 life points; the game is over when one player is out of life. Sounds fairly pedestrian, but it's the simplicity of Hearthstone that makes it great.

Porting a trading card game onto a tablet is no small feat. Sure Blizzard could have taken the easy way out and port the game over with just deck building and battling, but they were able to make this game simple and accessible to all in a gorgeous and easy-to-use interface. Games are short and sweet and the match-making system works pretty well.

Hearthstone engages the player constantly with daily quests that provide gold and card packs. There are cards to collect, and Blizzard promises updates with new cards to come. There's a single player mode where players can battle against different themed decks. But the best feature is that the game rewards players for playing.

Players can choose to shell out cash for the best cards, to buy extra card packs, but those who are hesitant to put up money can buy and receive the same cards as someone who spends money - they just have to spend time.

This time spent is very different from the modern idea of a free-to-play game. Instead of taking in action and waiting minutes, hours or days before the next action, Hearthstone keeps the player playing the game. The more you play the more rewards you gain. Rewards could be new challenges, new cards or in-game currency to buy new cards.

Hearthstone is a fulfilling trading card game without the mess of having a massive collection of cards. Of course, there is one element missing - the trading of cards.