Today, an Honest Game Trailer was released for Hearthstone, and it’s basically perfect.
I love and hate Hearthstone, depending on the day, the time of day, the phase of the moon, etc. It’s really, really fun, but also quickly devolves when I think about it too much. As you get higher in rank, it becomes distressingly clear that everyone is using some variant of some competitive deck they looked up online. “Oh good, another Warlock rush deck”, I mutter to myself, while resisting the urge to throw my iPad at the wall.
Sure, you have to fill in the blanks if you don’t have certain cards, but it’s really hard to shake the feeling that a CCG in the vein of Hearthstone falls apart in a world where you can just Google for a good deck and then smash that deck up against other people who have also Googled for a good deck. The arena helps mitigate this issue, but it’s also highly reliant on luck, and also isn’t “free” – you either pay for entry, or go back into the world of matched-play to earn the gold to play again.
When I want to play a card game on my iPhone or iPad, I find myself going back to Ascension, which is much less polished presentation-wise, and isn’t even really the same genre, but scratches much of the same itch, while being more fair and balanced than something like Hearthstone.
As much as I enjoy Hearthstone, it might be time for me to admit that CCGs just aren’t for me. Well, maybe after one last Arena run…