Hearthstone for the iPhone

hearthstone-iphone

Hearthstone released for the iPhone just a couple of days ago, and I’ve already clocked 5+ hours…. all of which may or may not have been during the work day. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not great at Hearthstone. It’s not the deepest or most difficult to understand or even master card game out there, and like all card games you are only as good as the cards in your deck. Since I haven’t been into the idea of playing a lot of Hearthstone on my PC, as I’d rather play on the go, I’ve held off playing and thus haven’t earned cards. So take this review for what it’s worth — not that of a Hearthstone master, but rather an iPhone 6 Plus gaming enthusiast and still a fan of the game.

Hearthstone on my iPhone 6 Plus runs well enough. I have moment of slow-down, and loading times aren’t fantastic. These feel like something that I bet will be patched within a couple of weeks. This delay and often finicky nature of the touch controls has lead to more than one mistaken selection or card placement resulting in my utter defeat. The image above is actually of a match I was playing today. I mistakenly healed myself because the touch control let go when I was dragging it to my minion.

Blizzard’s implemented of the game on the iPhone does, overall, work. A few extra steps like having to click on my hand to bring it up, and touching to hold cards to see what they do adds to the time it takes me to execute my turn, but over time as I learn cards these will be less of an issue. The extra steps are a little annoying, but at the same time I’m willing to put up with them having Hearthstone in my pocket where I go.

What I love most about this whole thing is how integrated the Battle.net experience is, and the fact that I am playing on my phone with people on their computers, tablets, or phones. I have full access to my friends list and can chat, see what everyone is up to, and whatever I do on my iPhone is completely linked to my exact same Hearthstone account anywhere else. Wonderful integration that has, thus far, worked flawlessly.

Yeah, Hearthstone isn’t perfect. As a card game you can rip it apart. It’s pay-to-win, governed by incredible meta game, luck., etc… but it’s hard to beat free, and it’s hard to beat having it on my iPhone. The pay-to-win aspects are no different than the hundreds I’ve spent on MTG cards. I’m just trying to convince myself that a digital version is essentially the same thing when my brain is telling me it’s not. Bottom line, I have to spend money on cards for Hearthstone to realize its full potential.

  • Unlike MTG, I’ve found the accessibility of Hearthstone to be just amazing and now that it’s on almost every platform, it’s even better 🙂

    On the F2P VA P2W front, you really don’t have to spend a penny. That said, it’s a CCG and that means if you want to be able to craft competitive decks quickly, buying packs is the way to go. As an avid CCG player, big fan of WoW lore, and since Blizzard isn’t exactly going to vanish overnight, I invested in the game regularly. I liked the game enough to pay $60 (about the cost of a game) and since I don’t do MMO subscriptions anymore I figured I’d toss ~15/month at it. Now, 1.5 years in I don’t regret any of it. I’ve unlocked every card and no longer need to spend a penny since I just save up gold until the 20k cap.

    If you’re interested, I’d be happy to help you out in HS any way I can. Feel free to add me: Kaybek#1468

  • I do have to say while of course it is P2W (it is a CCG) it’s still a hell of a lot cheaper than MTG (on or offline). As for just playing ranked, there’s streamers who have made completely new accounts and gotten to legend on them without spend a dime on the account. So it’s possible to reach the highest level (outside of tournaments) without spending money on the account at all. Especially since (overtime at least) gold is not that hard to get if you stay on top of the daily quests. Since blackrock mountain has opened I have not spent a dime of real money and have completed all 3 wings so far and have enough gold for the last 2 when they open despite only have around ~2200 when it first opened. Though, I will say that was before GvG hit, GvG probably did introduce some power creep and make it a bit more P2W even for just normal ranked.

    First thing I would do (and did on my second account) is get all your free packs then save up until you get enough gold for Naxxramas. Not only is it fun, but even after gvg came out it still has some of the most influential cards in the game, and you are guaranteed to get them. Sludge Belcher, Shade of Naxxramas, Kel’Thuzad, spectral knight are all great cards and can go a long way on their own.

  • I did try Scrolls. It *seems* to be fun. I might invest/play more when it comes to iPad though.

  • I had a similar problem with Hearthstone and the dragging. I accidentally Hellfired myself instead of my opponent because of the touch and drag mechanic. Luckily, it was only against AI. It would’ve been pretty embarrassing against a real player in ranked. I haven’t played ranked on it yet because I think it’s risky to do on iPhone just because there is a greater chance for accidental mistakes like that. But it is fun to be able to pull it up and play a quick game now and then.

  • @Kaybek: It’s not a serious issue. It really only comes up when having to drag a card that then must be targeted on another card. It’s sometimes easy to let go and cast on yourself.

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