Hi there, welcome to HearthstoneReview.com, as we are looking forward to beta test and official release of  Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft from Blizzard Entertainment, this initial pre-Beta hearthstone review will help you get in on this 2013′s hottest and most digitally incorporative online cardgame in upcoming months.

Most Anxiously Awaited Beta of Summer 2013 

In March 2013 at a Penny Arcade Expo presentation, Rob Pardo announced the beta and official projected release dates for the much anticipated arrival of a digital collectible card game from Blizzard Entertainment. The beta version of Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft will  be available on PC and Mac computers, with plans for an ipad version soon after. The company hopes to expand the game to be available on even more platforms once it is officially released.  Beta version of this game can be accessed in the near future by signing up from official blizzard battle site.

(Official Trailer – really awesome cinematics and visual effects!)

 

Pre-Beta Hearthstone Review in Detail

The Setup

With the location designed to take place in the Warcraft universe, Hearthstone is free to play with the optional purchase of supporting booster packs. The game will begin with each player possessing roughly 30 cards. Of the 300 cards expected to be released, each card pack will contain five cards at random and offer at least a single “rare” card. They also come divvied into Expert and Basic categories; Expert cards then broken down again into Epic, Legendary, Common, and Rare. While the small team of only fifteen creators aimed for an experience that was easy for users to learn, the game in its entirety involves a ton of complexity and depth.

The View From Up Here

Though the player sees the game just like a tabletop card game (from above), this online cardgame incorporates 3D environments artistically modeling on the edges of the “board” that offer short animations when clicked, along with voice acting throughout the game, and an audio-visual experience particular to each and every card! Draw a card from the pile or put one in play, and watch it fly to center screen, dramatically announcing itself to other players. Keeping with the added suspense of witnessing an opponent’s thought process, the game allows a visual replica of the back of a person’s hand, even as he goes to select his card to put in play. (Of course, you won’t actually know what is going to come next until he chooses to play it.)

(Fireside Duel example: Mage vs. Shaman)

Similarities to World of Warcraft

-Reliable quirky visuals with a sense of humor
-The same beloved soundtrack
-Identical class options
-Similar nine characters of representation (each with unique ability and specific card types)
-Some of the same weapon cards for Hearthstone heroes (from WoW heroes)
-Same available card occurrence levels (common, rare, epic, legendary)
-The exact Blizzard trademark art style (shown on interface and board) players know and trust

Hearthstone Review: Depth of field visual effects applied to user interface

Hearthstone Review: Depth of field visual effects applied to user interface

Player Modes

Typically played one-on-one, each player’s deck is limited to 30 cards. When cards run out, players take damage on every turn until the game ends. For beginners, they offer a single player practice mode. Once you catch on, you can get into multiplayer games with friends. Though these games are limited to 1-on-1, they are a snap to start playing and are a great way to stay connected when caught up in battle.

Calling All Magic Fans!

Heroes of Warcraft is not just for players of World of Warcraft or of the WOW TCG—those that enjoy The Gathering and otherCCGs will love it as well. The Hearthstone card game features similar mechanics to others in the same genre, including summoning, casting spells, attacking, drawing cards, mana pools, attacking opponent to obtain a game win, and more.

Unbeatable Digital Playing Cards…Literally

Hearthstone cards take full advantage of their digital capabilities, as seen any time one is played or drawn. Still, these battle heroes will stop at nothing—literally, nothing—to get their job done. Some cards will saunter across the board and ruthlessly attack your on-screen avatar, cutting down on playing time, only to then replace it. Others will brutally die in front of your eyes, spawning other cards upon their defeat. These spawned cards, like all of the others, demonstrate their voice quips and spunky personalities.

Concerned with Your Deck’s Main Crux?

Hearthstone provides each and every player with multiple deck creation methods. If the deck is your top priority, simply pick the cards you feel will win you the game and request that the Al find similar cards to compliment the ones you chose. From the provided list, you can choose your additions. If the deck is your last thought, you can opt to select a few cards and have the Al refill your deck at random—no deliberating or strategizing required. Do not worry if you are a player who is set in his own ways, as Hearthstone allows for the freedom to handpick each and every card with no hassle.

Booster Pack Goodies

Hearthstone Review: Amazing fireside duel effects

Hearthstone Review: Amazing fireside duel effects

Each booster pack will have five cards and be priced at an incredibly affordable $1. CCG lovers will get their drama fix when they click on their booster packs and watch each of the five cards pop out face down. Rare cards have their own glow, immediately alerting players to it’s value. Click each card to discover what it is worth and enjoy the hysterical fanfare it responds with. As the launch is projected to include 300 different cards, there will be new surprises for days (or weeks, if you manage to take a break!)

Fixing Your Duplicate Annoyance

A common complaint with card games lies in the excessive duplicates collected by players, some so common that they are impossible to pawn off onto others. Blizzard conjured up a way to turn your useless pile into “dust” by removing them from your collection and offering more rare and powerful cards in exchange for quantities of the dust. Even more creatively, some offerings include powerful card duplicates that are similar in function but have been re-vamped to show added audio and visual flair. This idea is modeled after a holographic or foil physical card, making them even more valued.

Hearthstone Review: Well organized heroes recruitment interface

Hearthstone Review: Well organized heroes recruitment interface

Other Small but Notable Perks

-Every card possesses ability to be upgraded to Golden version
-Game play allows potential medal earnings weekly
-The Al is an optional opponent (available in a range of difficulty levels)
-Any purchase made during beta trial gets credited back to the player at launch (in the form of unopened card packs)

Why Hearthstone ? – Official Hearthstone Review from Blizzard Entertainment (Behind the Scenes)

Masterpiece (Art vs. Visual Effects)

The last thing I need to add to this piece of pre-beta hearthstone review is the balance has been striked very well between Art and digital effects, every card is a beautiful artwork associated with awesome visual effects. The design itself will not only add bonus to an enjoyable game experience, but also can be viewed as pure artworks for the purpose of digital or solid card collection.