Hearthstone is a collectible card game designed around the popular Warcraft gaming universe. It takes on a slightly different genre from the real-time strategy and role-playing elements of past games in the series, and expands on its characters and concepts in a variety of fun ways. Any fan of the series should check out this Hearthstone review to get an idea of what to expect from it.
|Type of Game||Collectible card game|
|Platforms||Windows, iOS, and Android|
|Google Play||Download Page|
|Free||Yes, but with micro-transactions|
Hearthstone is a fairly traditional collectible card game that has a straightforward goal. You must create a powerful deck that can defeat your opponents. To meet this end, you draft new cards, trade with friends, and earn cards with each victory.
There are a few different gameplay modes that help you achieve this goal. The standard mode lets you challenge other players or computer opponents. However, you can also play solo adventures, combat marathons in the arena mode, and weekly tavern brawls.
Design & Graphics
Any Hearthstone review would be incomplete without discussing the design and graphics. They are fairly simple in every version of the game. After all, a collectible card game doesn’t need wild animations to be a successful or fun experience. However, it does need to have unique designs on each card. The graphics also need to be sharp, colorful, and enjoyable to view.
Thankfully, this Hearthstone review is happy to say each version meets the graphical and design standards of Blizzard’s past games. Everything has that dark and brooding feel that Warcraft has had from the beginning of the series. There are a lot of browns and greens throughout the design of this game. Even better, each card features a colorful visual that makes it enjoyable to use during the match.
The animations for each card are also enjoyable. However, they are toned down a bit in the portable versions of the game. That is an acceptable sacrifice, but a shame nonetheless. To match the graphics, the sound design is top-notch.
As you battle, you’ll hear the typical grunts of the orcs, and the heroic shouts of the humans. While the sounds are still pretty solid in the portable version, there is some slight issue with the sound quality of some samples.
Due to the unique nature of this game, there isn’t a centralized story or main character. That said, there are still some story elements and an expansion of Warcraft lore that are worth noting. For example, the basic scenario is a battle between different Ragnaroes in a variety of combat situations. That’s really about it for the story. It’s mostly a flimsy premise on which to hang the primary game.
However, the lore of the Warcraft has been expanded in subtle and exciting ways. For example, the inn is introduced as an attractive area in which players can explore and meet new characters. There are also a variety of new characters and races that are fun to interact with and learn about as you play. There are too many to discuss in this Hearthstone review, but expect an expansion of the Innkeeper character from past games.
Some elements that may surprise or even upset some players is the way that past villains, such as Nefarian and Kel’Thuzad, are slightly tweaked in the new story. These changes alter their characters slightly. While the changes are minor, many players may find they go too far in changing the characters and their interaction with the Warcraft universe.
As mentioned elsewhere in this Hearthstone review, there is no real mission, purpose, or storyline to this game. It isn’t like past Warcraft games that featured an involved and intriguing story that you gradually opened up as you played. Instead, the game’s plot is kept purposefully simple and vague.
To some fans of the Warcraft series, this is likely to come as a grave disappointment. However, we already mentioned the fact that many elements of the lore and the atmosphere of the Warcraft universe have been expanded upon considerably.
This game is more about the experience of collecting cards, fighting, and interacting with other players. As a result, we don’t mind that it lacks a strict plot. In fact, it is possible to make your own stories up as you play with your friends.
All versions of this high-quality game are free to play. However, all have that much-hated concept of micro-transactions operating at their core. Most people reading this Hearthstone review should have a pretty good idea of the nature of micro-transactions by now.
If you don’t, we’ll briefly touch on the concept here for you. Micro-transactions are in-game purchases that help make the game easier to play. For example, you can buy better cards for relatively low prices. These micro-transactions may be annoying for some or even ignored. However, they are essential for keeping the game financially solvent.
Thankfully, you are under no obligation to invest in them at any time. However, no high-quality Hearthstone review could rightly ignore discussing them properly. Consider yourself adequately warned about the possibilities of having to invest a little money in this game to compete with the higher-quality players.
As you can see from this review, there is a lot to like about this version of the game. The graphics and sound design are solid, and the gameplay retains the same flavor as the PC original. While you get the expected scaling back of some of the design elements, most of what you get is still available and easy to enjoy in this format.
So why not give this one shot? You might just find yourself getting sucked into the world of Warcraft all over again. And make sure to share your thoughts on this Hearthstone review or the game in our comment section. We always love hearing what our readers have to say about the games we love.