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Site: www.battle.net/hearthstone
Platform: PC Windows XP/7/8. Approx size: 2gb.
Overall: 3/5
Hearthstone is a collectable card game with a casual playstyle. Very good looking and easy to learn and play, advanced play is limited.


Hearthstone is a collectable card game with a casual playstyle. Cards can be either minions, spells or secrets and the designs are taken from the Warcraft universe. The rules are simpler than most cardgames but there are a wide variety of effects such as battlecry (performed when the card is played) and taunt (creature blocks attacks until destroyed or silenced). There are 9 classes to play, you can play either practice games against the computer, casual or ranked games against other players, or arena where you construct a deck from cards randomly chosen and try to win as many games as possible with them.

Initial Impressions:

A much more reasonable 1gb download through the custom battle.net browser, initial impressions are great with high quality graphic music and speech, a few tutorial games familiarise you with how the game works, you then unlock practice mode and can unlock all 9 classes by defeating the computer opponents. Play mode is unlocked next with both casual and ranked modes, and you can construct your deck from the basic cards which are given as your level with a class increases. More cards can be added by puchasing decks with gold which can be earned via quests in game or bought with real money. The final mode is arena which costs 150 gold to enter, but you can win cards, decks or gold.

General play:

This game is better than you might expect from the basic functionality (more complex features such as interrupts are not included, presumably to keep the games quick and encourage players who are not traditional card game players). You are matched against opponents of similar level and skill, the matchmaking generally good. However, as you advance you realise that the lack of interrupts means that decks like the mage freeze/spell deck are utterly tedious to play against, and that certain combos and lucky card draws early on are pretty much uncounterable, so the custom deck feature results in generally poor games once you get to a certain point. Arena, however is much better as you select your cards from a random choice, but OP cards such as unleash the hounds and the mage spells can mean you lose (or win if you are playing these) with ease (the cards mentioned effects can be used on the players current turn which you cannot counter except with a secret). Overall this is a fun game which is better early on and is well worth a play.

Review is the opinion of tilemap.co.uk Return to free to play game reviews