Hearthstone is an enthralling card duelling game with none of the risk of a paper cut. Which isn't to say it's not dangerous as it has really nailed that “oh just one more game wont hurt” style of time travel in which you wake up five hours later and realise you're still playing. This often results in one or two quick games before bed ending with the sounds of birds obtrusively chirping away as dawn breaks through the window. The resulting tiredness may or may not lead to a car accident which is arguably more inconvenient than a paper cut.
Despite the heightened chance of automotive mishap Hearthstone is not a game to be missed. It's very accessible and beautifully polished therefore perfect for anyone looking for something fairly casual to play on the bus or during breaks. That being said it's also great for anyone with too much time on their hands to dive into. I've been playing for the last 2 weeks and sunk so deep into it I’ve forced myself to write this just to justify the many, many (many) hours spent.
Not all these hours were spent playing either as many were spent watching streamers and YouTubers in a desperate hunt for tuition. This is because my biggest gripe with Hearthstone is that I wish I was better at it. I don't think I'm too bad but I'm yet to achieve my mission: Seven wins in the arena.
For those that haven’t played Hearthstone The Arena is where you go if you want to pull your hair out and cry deeply. Players pay an entry fee of 150 precious gold pieces and pick one of the three randomly selected hero classes. You then construct a deck by going through 30 one-of-three card selections like a fantasy version of blind date and go up against other players who've done the same. Three losses and you're out but the more wins you get the better your rewards.
The entry fee of 150 gold is fairly steep. When playing in the normal, constructed mode which doesn’t have an entry fee you earn 10 gold for every 3 wins. This is true until you've earned 100 gold at which point the game says “You've already earned 100 gold today - that's 30 wins – why don't you go outside and say hello to your loved ones. They're worried about you.”* On top of this you get a daily challenge of either 40 or 60 gold which is more often than not to get 3 wins with a certain hero. Basically you can get a shot at the arena at least once a day assuming you won a bit of gold in the arena last time.
This is why I want seven wins. At seven wins in The Arena you earn your 150 gold back as well as a card pack and one or two other goodies. It's basically stealing. Suck it Blizzard. Unfortunately getting seven wins without loosing three times is tough as everyone is out to do the same. Getting kicked from The Arena with 0 wins is a harrowing experience but every victory you do get gives a euphoric high that I imagine is only equal to that of only the most hardcore cocaine users.**
Games are tense, unexpected and often bollocks. I mean who gets lucky enough to draft 5 fireballs? Why?!
I very much enjoy playing Hearthstone but if you view the nervous wreck that I am when playing you wouldn't think it to look at me. I've got a bunch more to say about it and might write some more about it in the future but for now I'm eager to get back to it. If you haven’t played Hearthstone yet I truly recommend it and for those playing who buy packs rather than entering The Arena you're doing it wrong. Also get sleep and drive safe.
*Not actual quote. Blizzard does not care for your loved ones nor what they think of you. Probably.
**If anyone from The Sun is reading I’m not actually getting high off a video game I’m just being expressive.