Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Beta Review

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It’s hard to write an article about Hearthstone. Not because it has complicated mechanics or because it’s hard to find the correct words to describe it with, but because you have to actually pull yourself away from the game long enough to start tapping at a keyboard.

The game is still in closed-Beta at the moment with thousands of keys being given away so that people could test and try the platform. If you weren’t one of the lucky people to get one then don’t worry as the open-Beta is expected to start this month.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 16.45.19Hearthstone begins with a few very simple tutorials. The best thing about this game is how easy it is to learn. Each turn you draw a card and gain an extra crystal of mana (until you reach the maximum of 10). Every card has a mana cost and is typically either a “minion” (a creature that enters the battlefield) or a form of spell card.

Once through the tutorial you are free to play and practice. You start off with the mage and earn the new characters by beating them in the practice matches.

If you’ve ever played World of Warcraft the classes will be familiar to you and it’s a wonderful achievement that their attributes have been so well translated to a card game.

For example, the warrior is about bulking up your hero whilst also dealing out some decent minions. The rogue can take out your minions with assassination cards and can arm itself with a dagger. The warlock isn’t afraid to cause damage to itself if it means dealing devastating attacks on the enemy. The hunter… well you get the idea.

If you’ve played “Magic The Gathering” then the differences in class and the possible strategies won’t be too far off what you’re used to. The key to winning is knowing your character’s strengths and building an effective deck.

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At first Hearthstone is incredibly easy to learn and the mechanics are simple. But as you progress the matches slowly become more difficult and require more thought. A basic deck will only get you so far and very quickly you learn that you’re going to have to start looking through your library of cards and building a deck.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 17.48.33To get new cards you will need to get booster packs by either buying them or earning gold by completing challenges. If you’re new to card games and the thought of deck-building seems a bit intimidating, don’t worry because there are already a large number of guides out there for you to discover.

Fans of the Warcraft series will be happy to see that the Blizzard aesthetics and sense of humour are still there. Attacks are followed by familiar character voices and sound effects. Even the arenas are based off of the major cities in WOW.

If you’re worried that you might not be big on card games, it’s well worth putting those fears aside and giving Hearthstone a try anyway. It’s addictive, quick to learn, hard to master and just plain fun. You’ll find that throwing down the winning card is just as thrilling as finishing off The Lich King in Warcraft.

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