Hearthstone Review (iPad)
Paul and Kevin get hands on with the iPad release of Hearthstone
Hearthstone has been released from the PC and has finally come to iPad but how does this mobile version stack up to the PC counterpart. Firstly you will not notice much of a difference, some minor UI changes to deal with touch screen instead of mouse. Graphically the game is the same, although you will notice a difference if you have been playing on a high end PC until now. Your account transfers so you need not worry. You can take your full deck with you on the move as well. So you’ll be able to continue beating your friends while on a bus or train, making their humiliation that much worse.
The upsides are the game is the exact same. Board modes look exactly as you would expect from Hearthstone and its extremely polished, as is expected of Blizzard. With that being said, on my iPad Mini Retina, it does crash and bug out a fair bit. Up to the point of me losing matches and therefore rank stars due to the game crashing. you also feel a little bit of slowdown, if you try and play the game as fast as you normally would on PC version. With it feeling like its trying to catch up to your actions as you do them. This is especially true with games involving Nozdormu or a lot of play on the field. For example, if you intend on comboing maybe 3 or 4 cards together it’s going to have a hard time keeping up.
I’m not the only one seeing this. If you look on blizzard’s forums, or on your favourite social media outlet, you see lots of the same complaints. I would suspect this will be patched and fixed soon before the new single player expansion / update Curse of Naxxramas. Which is coming later this year.
Adding 30 new cards and 5 dungeons to battle though. The first being free and the other 4 at a cost. The new cards are guaranteed to add more to the already deep meta and card building of the game. This is what may take Blizzard longer, as they try to bleed new cards into the game. Personally, I love the way they are doing this. They’re not just throwing cards in and saying “buy these”, there’s an additional layer of content. Hopefully, this will be playable offline when you’re on the tube with your iPad.
There’s no denying Hearthstone is the latest big thing, everyone you talk to knows what it is and more and more people are trying it out. The iPad version just made it far more accessible to a bigger audience and despite the small bugs, that we know will be fixed in time, it shot to the number one app on iPad within a day. It’s made a game that already had the gamer population addicted far less easy to put down. I have found my hour long commute to be far too small, and when you add toilet breaks into the equation, you’re more than occupied!.
Blizzard are also doing meetups for the game, now called fireside gatherings, encouraging groups of 5 to 100+ to get together in book stores, coffee shops or conventions to play together. Even giving a new card back to those who do this. Actively making players seek out face to face games and combat in the style of a non digital card game is a master stroke. Will we see Hearthstone groups start to meet in the way, magic or table top ones do? Only time will tell. It certainly has the scope for huge tournaments without the hassle of bringing your whole collection to the event!
Coupled with android and windows phone versions, which have already been confirmed, Hearthstone is undoubtedly in the running to become one of the most popular free to play games worldwide. It’s a beautiful equation that Blizzard have compiled. Take one pinch of gaming heritage, add mechanics that are easy to learn but deep enough to keep pros busy, a very reasonable business model, simple yet informative UI and enough polish to see your face shine and they’ll be taking the world by storm.
A lot of fans groaned when Hearthstone was first announced and it goes a long way to show that Blizzard know games. They know when’s best to enter a market, they know how to bleed it dry and they know how to make solid titles.
3.5 Murlocs out of 5Hearthstone Review (iPad),