UPDATE: Some people are reporting difficulty finding the app in the Canadian app store. There is a direct link in the second last paragraph of this post. Also, you can click right here if you dont want to waste time reading all the way to the bottom. You’re welcome.
Hearthstone, Blizzard’s “collectable” trading card game, has been in the wild for a handful of months now … but today things got serious with the much-anticipated release for the iPad. Until now you were chained to your OS X or Windows computer if you wanted to play, a situation that was decidedly less than ideal for a pick-up-and-play casual game. Most folks are happy to sit at the computer to spend a couple of hours slaying big baddies and saving the world. But when you just want to play cards … well, not so much.
Hearthstone is already fun. As of today, Hearthstone is stupidly fun.
If you haven’t been paying attention and are coming in cold, Hearthstone is an online version of trading card “duel” games like Magic: The Gathering. If that means nothing to you, try this: It’s a free-to-play online card game where you collect and build your own custom decks and then use them to play head to head games against any and all comers. The game uses the World of Warcraft universe as the source for art, sounds, feel, and flavour. Does that mean you have to know Warcraft to play? No, not at all. But it does mean that every board, every card and every play has the vast weight Blizzard’s undeniable fun factor behind it.
And that, my friends, is a good thing.
All of which is a fairly wordy way of saying get out there and download it. If you have never played this sort of game, there is a tutorial to get you going and even if you are and old hand at these things you should play through the introduction anyway since there are juicy rewards for completing it. As you play you will earn the full set of “standard” cards and you will also earn “gold” that you can use to buy “expert” cards. Of course, Blizzard is running a business the offer you the opportunity to spend real-world money to get more gold, but the developers have managed to strike a really nice balance on this front. If you wanted to play in tournaments or go for a top ranking, then spending some money would be the way to go. But if you just want to continually get more cards and have enough new toys to tinker with and meddle with your decks endlessly you will easily earn enough to do that just by playing games. It truly is “free to play” which is a nice chance from the current crop of scam games like Candy Crush and the like. Full details on everything, including news and more instructional type things are on the official Hearthstone web site. It’s worth a peek.
Of course at this point in time there is one small downside … the iPad version of the game is currently available only in the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand app stores. Which, to my mind, isn’t that much of a hardship at all but I understand that there might be one of two of you out there reading this who may beg to differ. Fret not, or at least fret only a little, because the rollout is coming to other countries soon … Blizzard is just doing it in stages to make sure nothing goes awry with a sudden massive glut of downloads and connections.
To get started, just click on this link right here and it will take you directly to the app store. And it’s worth mentioning that if you are already playing, all of your cards and progress will be up to date on the iPad version as soon as you log in. You can play on any device, at any time. Blizzard has taken a long time to get this together, but they have definitely done it right.
Now get out there and play some cards, scrub. Indeed, glory awaits.