Everyone has heard of World of Warcraft, arguably the most successful massively multiplayer game of all time, well Blizzard (the company behind the game) has just released their next big game, which happens to be free.
The game is not the next World of Warcraft, it’s called Hearthstone, and it is an online card game.
Now if the thought of a card game turns you off, don’t let it. Give yourself a chance to explore this game, because it is pretty awesome. Here’s why:
1. Free to play.
Your financial commitment to start this game is zero dollars. You can download it direct from Blizzard (you do need to sign up for a free Battle.net account) and get started right away.
This is one of the rare free-to-play games out there that is not pay to win. While there is the ability to convert real money into gold (the in game currency), everything you want to do in the game you can do without paying a dime. There are daily opportunities to earn gold through game challenges. It’s pretty slick. Sure, you could put $50 into the game and get a jump-start, but you have the legitimate option to play for free and not miss out on anything.
2. Easy to learn.
Card games like Hearthstone can be very involved and complex, but Blizzard makes learning Hearthstone extremely easy. When you start up the game for the first time, you’ll be taken through a fun game-based tutorial (not just reading how to play) and understand how to play within minutes. This is where I think Blizzard is genius. This game is accessible to anyone. In particular the casual gamer who may not have as much time for World of Warcraft as they used to. Anyone can pick up this game and start enjoying it in just a few minutes.
3. Simple yet challenging.
For as easy of a game as Hearthstone is to learn and play, it is difficult to master, and challenging every time. The main gameplay mode will match you against someone with equal skill either in casual or ranked mode, so you won’t have to worry about getting destroyed (i.e. not having fun) whenever you play. Even in ranked mode (a challenge ladder of real opponents you can climb) the matches tend to be fairly close! As cliché as it sounds, you can learn Hearthstone in minutes, but be challenged by the game infinitely.
4. Drop in and out.
For the casual gamer who doesn’t have as much time to game, Hearthstone is that rare game that can challenge you without being a total time sink (well, it can be if you get obsessed). You can complete a game in about 10 minutes, and log out and be done. You’re probably going to want to play a lot more games than just one in a sitting, but you can get in and get out when you have a few minutes. So when your significant other calls you can log out without having to say “just a few more minutes.”
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a game that is challenging, free, and is going to hold your attention for a long time, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is worth checking out. It is currently available for both PC and Mac, with a mobile version currently in development. Go check out the game, try it on your lunch break, but don’t blame me when you get addicted.