We didn’t expect to be saying this, but Hearthstone, Blizzard’s Warcraft-themed take on a card game is one of the best gaming experiences of the year.
The free-to-play digital collectible card game revolves around traditional turn-based matches between two opponents and offers a number of different game modes.
Blizzard has been smart and set Hearthstone within the existing Warcraft universe, so characters and locations will be familiar to fans.
Hearthstone’s first adventure is Curse of Naxxramas. Set in the Scourge necropolis of Naxxramas, it’s a five-wing adventure, with each wing representing one of the wings of the World of Warcraft Naxxramas raid instance. The adventure features a total of 30 new collectable cards, gained through completing various aspects of the adventure. The wings of the adventure must be purchased using either gold or real money.
The learning curve is steep, but the rewards are huge, and the more you unpick the intricacies of the game, the more powerful power-ups you can attain without spending real-life money.
The adventure itself comprises a series of unique boss battles and players are able to tackle bosses in Normal or Heroic mode. Heroic mode is more difficult, with tougher bosses, and each wing becomes available to play in Heroic mode once it is defeated in normal mode.
Check out this behind the scenes making-of video:
Hearthstone is currently available on the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and on iPad.
Android, iPhone and Windows 8 tablet releases are planned for later this year.
Find out more about Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas