Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 1033 Ratings

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  • Summary: Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital strategy card game that anyone can enjoy. Players choose one of nine epic Warcraft heroes to play as, and then take turns playing cards from their customizable decks to cast potent spells, use heroic weapons or abilities, or summon powerful characters to crush their opponent. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 42
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 42
  3. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Apr 25, 2014
    Between its friendly design and its flexible approach to a free-to-play economy, Hearthstone has successfully pulled me into a genre that I didn't care about in the least. But even more incredibly, it's kept me rapt longer than any games I've played in years, and shows no signs of letting up.
  2. Apr 14, 2014
    Blizzard's first Free to Play-game offers depth without becoming complex. It takes players seriously and is very playable without spending (a lot of) money. Atmosphere, speed and great sound effects make for fast yet satisfying games, where luck and tactics go hand in hand.
  3. Mar 14, 2014
    Hearthstone is a wonderful game. Nostalgic, simple and best of all: fun. This is the best online collectible card game you can play. Just be careful how much you spend in it.
  4. May 26, 2014
    Hearthstone, the newest card game from Blizzard, will keep you hooked for hours thanks to the amazing presentation and the tactical, deep gameplay. This is free to play done right.
  5. Jun 28, 2014
    Simple rules, high production values, low system requirements and huge tactical freedom make Hearthstone one of the best card games available. And if you take into account the free-to-play model – it’s the best one. [05/2014, p.62]
  6. May 11, 2014
    One of the best free-to-play games on the market because you can actually play this one for free and have a good time while doing so. It is easy to learn and fun to master. [Apr 2014]
  7. Apr 8, 2014
    Hearthstone is a well-executed and fun card game, one which lives the “easy to learn, hard to master” mantra to the utmost.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Mar 12, 2014
    Hearthstone is casual at first glance but I am unsurprisingly terrible at it, as it has depth that isn't that noticeable at first. It is extremely fun though, even losing is enjoyable to me and I can't wait for Blizzard to start expanding upon the game.

    For what it is now, I give it a 10/10 for being a well balanced and extremely fun game with enough depth to last for quite a while.
  2. Apr 30, 2014
    As someone who would never think to play a CCG, Hearthstone has taken me by surprise! It's easy to access game-play was a downside to me at first but the more I played it (at first just with friends), the more I started to enjoy it for it's depth. Not to mention the amazing artwork that's in the game, from the spell-animations to the sound effects, the golden card-animations and more. Now that Hearthstone is really getting bigger in the competitive scene I'm only looking forward more and more to what it will have to offer as an e-sport. Expand
  3. Apr 23, 2014
    Notice that many of the negative reviews call this game a "pay-to-win" or a grind, or an overly simplistic, luck-based game. I don't think they understand the concept of strategy when it comes to a game like this- it's as much about how well you can craft a deck as much as how you play it out. They (rightly) claim that there's no way to plan for every deck, so how can you expect to win? What do they want? A deck that can beat all other decks? A deck that is prepared for every single strategy that can be thrown at them? Not only is this impossible, it also would not be fun.

    All I'll say about this game is that if you are even thinking about trying the game, it's free-to-play, so there's nothing to lose!
  4. Apr 29, 2014
    Fine but really it is too shallow to be called a tcg.
    Almost entirely RNG, can use skill but all of your work can be randomly negated by a
    single card most times.
    I still play it though...
    I hate UTH soooooo much!!!
  5. May 22, 2014
    If you like Pay 2 Win, you'll love this game. Because Hearthstone is about as pay 2 win as you can get without placing a button that says. "Click to win ($4.99)"

    First the positives. Hearthstone is a functional game that has decent flow to it. It has minimal issues with bugs and runs well on older machines. The game does have a rather kitschy feel to it, as well as a sense of self-parody for the WoW mythos. The gameplay is smooth and the interface is easy to navigate.

    Hearthstone falls short in several areas, however. For example, players must either buy boosters or earn them at an extremely slow rate, made slower by the fact that in-game currency is only earned through victories. Players are started out with the same set of basic cards and must grind packs or buy them. There are daily quests, but they usually involve winning matches to gain extra gold. While it is possible to win with the basic set of cards, many of the pack cards far stronger and some are actually game breaking. Which makes a player who pays for packs far more likely to get ahead in the game. Discounting daily quests, booster packs can be obtained with gold for WINNING 30 matches. I emphasize that intentionally, as no gold is gained for a loss, essentially punishing the player who is learning or can't afford to buy cards. Exacerbating this problem is that matchmaking is quite poor, and so called "Casual Matches" are well populated with "noob-stompers" looking for easy gold which slows down the rate which gold and subsequently packs are acquired. Another problem with the game is there is a lack of balance. Priest and Hunter decks have access to cards that swing the game too much, IMO. (Mind Control and Unleash the Hounds being the most infamous.) Other classes also have cards of this type but not nearly as strong or numerous.

    In addition to this is the Arena mode which can be entered for 150 game gold. (Whereas a pack costs 100 gold.) But can be instead accessed with cash, You are given a choice of three random decks and them create a deck from card options given to you. Everything is RNG based. Then you take your deck and play other players must win as many games as you can (up to 9) before losing 3. The mode rewards you with booster packs, gold and dust depending on how well you did. If you did well you will get more, if you did poorly you will get little and possibly not get a pack. Again this feeds into the demand that players win in order to progress.

    There is also a way to craft cards using the aforementioned dust. Although it is not at all efficient, cards can be broken down using dust, but creating one of a certain rank requires the equivalent amount of dust from breaking down 8 cards of the same rank. Like everything in this game it is a slow process, crafted to exasperate the player and make the cash shop more appealing.

    Finally the game deserves criticism for doing little to instruct new players in basic deckbuilding strategies. And has a notably annoying "response" system that many players use to taunt their opponents. It can be disabled, but only for the duration of your current game and must be disabled every single time you play a game. There is also no function for players to trade cards which was omitted simply to push the P2W game system.

    Hearthstone is hardly the worst game out there right now. In fact it could be good, but the P2W model and the frustrations involved with CCG mechanics that are quite faithfully ported over from card games like Magic: the Gathering are front and center without any of the social benefits. A potentially good, game but ruined by the P2W model. Only the most diehard CCG enthusiasts with money to burn will enjoy this game. For everyone else, it's more frustration than actual fun.
  6. Jul 13, 2014
    If you like Magic The Gathering, then you will like this game. I don't mean this in a good way. In fact, I think it is worse than MtG. Both games have the problem that if you are willing to spend a pile of cash, then you can be sure to have the cards to build an over powered deck full of rare cards that will ensure a win. What makes this worse than MtG is that Hearthstone is run by a computer which sets up players against each other. So, the computer should be able to look at my deck and see that I am a casual player with very few overpowered cards and set me up against a player with the same level of deck. Instead, I am often put up against someone who has obviously spent a lot of money and now has a stack of rare cards in his deck.

    After a while, the constant beat down stops being fun and I stop playing. Though this game is free, there is no incentive for me to buy cards, which may not even fit the class that I want to play, for a game that I am not enjoying. Unistalled.
  7. Aug 16, 2014
    The game itself is unbalanced, unfair, cheap and an absolutely pathetic attempt from Blizzard to try and create a good card game. The game is purely about odds and how lucky or unlucky in most cases you are at drawing the right cards at the right time.
    9 times out of 10 you will lose because of these odds and you cant help but feel that the majority of times you lost is because of the game itself and poorly made it actually is. Also players that actually choose to pay for cards in this game somehow gain a advantage over those that refuse to pay and this makes the game even cheaper than it already is.
    I would never recommend such a game to no one, it is not enjoyable, it is not fun, it is cheap and unbalanced and one of the most frustrating experiences that I have have with card games.

See all 260 User Reviews