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So good, you wont care how bad you are.

Up until Hearthstone came around, I had a daily gaming ritual. Whenever I had free time I would select a video game from my ever growing collection and I usually had that one game that I would play all the time. Now, Hearthstone is the ONLY game that I play. Its like an infectious disease that I don't want to be cured from. I play it before work, after work, before bed, and even on the toilet! Strangely, I'm not even moderately good at Hearthstone. Normally when I become so infatuated with a game, Its because I'm amazing at it, but playing Hearthstone is different.

The object of the game is simple. Two random hero characters face off against one another, each with 30 health. Players start with three or four cards drawn from their deck of 30. Each card costs a certain amount of mana to cast, and at the start of each round players gain an additional mana crystal and draw a new card.

Cards can be minions or spells; the key difference being that a minion card on the board is a physical presence with an attack stat and health stat.
Minions can have a number of properties other than just their attacking power and health. Minions with Windfury, for instance can attack twice per turn where as regular minions can only attack once per turn.

Cards can work in conjunction with each others to create more powerful minions and/or create a variety of effects. Players will go back and forth until they bring the opponents Hero to zero health, or until the opponent concedes the game (or rage quits). From a beginners standpoint and someone that has had zero experience playing with other card games such as Pokemon, Magic, etc., Hearthstone is very easy to learn and players can usually pick up the basics during the first tutorial.

Now does this mean that experienced card players are going to have a walk in the park? Absolutely not. Hearthstone has many layers of game preparation in which your choices will ultimately determine how successful you are in battle.

Hearthstone consists of 9 classes - Mage, Shaman, Warlock, Druid, Priest, Paladin, Warrior, Rogue and Hunter – and each has a selection of unique class-specific cards, as well as an offensive or defensive hero power. Hero Powers can only be used once per turn and costs 2 mana to use. When building your card deck, you have to have a good balance of low and high costing minions/spells and be conscious of what cards will work most effectively against the other hero classes. The best way to familiarize yourself with this is to do the quests that the game gives you by default. It allows you to lean how the other hero's work as well as help determining their strong points and weaknesses.

The more you play, the more you’ll start picking up on each characters tactical elements. For instance, you will eventually learn that if you’re facing off against a Mage, they’ll almost definitely have a Polymorph card (transform a minion into a 1 attack/1 health sheep). And you know that if you are playing against a Priest, they may have a mind control card (take control of an enemy minion). Because the system auto selects your starting hand, strategically preparing your deck will help avoid getting high cost cards that you cant afford in earlier rounds.

Aside from the core functions, Hearthstone also packs some alternate forms of game play. There is single player so you can learn the ropes without any pressure. Ranked matches that face you off against other players of similar stats and of course highlight of Hearthstone, "The Arena" or I so like to call "shut up and take my money" The Arena costs gold to enter, and makes players choose one of three randomly drawn classes, then build a deck by choosing one card out of three randoms repeatedly until they have reached 30 cards. After these selections you will be pitted against another player. The more matches you win in the arena, the bigger the reward payouts you receive. However once you lose 3 matches, you're done. I have yet to win more than 2 matches until the arena kicks my ass out, but that still doesn't stop me from going broke every time I have enough gold to enter. Its a vicious, addicting cycle my friends.

Hearthstone is a free-to-play game with the option to purchase rare cards with in-game gold or real money. I haven't purchase anything myself because while getting rare cards may give me an upper advantage, It most certainly doesn't take away from the replay value of this game. I've been playing Hearthstone for about 2 months now and am still learning new things. If I really wanted to expand my cards I could always just try to win more arena matches or use their crafting system that can forge any card in the game.

So to sum it all up, Hearthstone is surprisingly addictive that will have you punching more walls than most games on the market. If you are looking to waste countless hours playing (and probably loosing miserably) at a game, I would highly recommend trying out Hearthstone: Heros of Warcraft.

Pros and Cons

endless deck building possibilities
fun, witty card sound effects
slight lag at times
slight animation glitches
Sometimes Hearthstone can be about luck. I was on point away from dying and I drew a deal 5 damage card.
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