Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone is a free-to-play strategy card game for Windows, Macintosh, and iPad. Designed to be deceptively simple and epically engaging for players of all backgrounds, Hearthstone features quick and lively duels that evoke the spirit of a friendly match played beside a crackling tavern fire.
Each player’s card deck centers around a hero representing one of nine iconic Warcraft classes, customized with a set of minions, spells, and/or weapons based on individual strategy and available cards. Players will be able to hone their skills in practice matches against the computer, and when they’re ready for the challenge, they can take on their Battle.net friends and other players in friendly duels. To further develop their decks, players will be able to acquire cards by crafting them and by winning or purchasing new card packs. With hundreds of unique cards to choose from, the potential card combinations and possible strategies are endless!
- Platforms: PC, MacOS, iOS, Android
- Typical game length: 5-15mins
- Players: 1v1
- Genre: Turn-based strategy
- Price: Free (optional in-game micro-transactions)
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Notable tournaments: Hearthstone Championship Tour
- Website: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/
- Popularity: 50m players
- Released: March 2014
- ESRB: Teen
- Other ESRB info: Alcohol Reference, Blood, Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB
As with most card games, Hearthstone tournaments are typically run in a Swiss group stage format with a playoff cut after the group stage. This can result in long days. It’s not uncommon for events to run well past 6 hours. Common match formats are conducted in the Standard Conquest format or Standard Last Hero Standing format.
Conquest: Players bring 4 separate classes each. They then ban one of their opponent’s class and must win with their 3 remaining classes in order to advance (best of 5).
Last Hero Standing: Players bring 3 separate classes. The winner of the game continues to use the class and deck that they were using until they lose a game with that class. In the event of a loss, the player must switch to a different class until they run out of eligible classes (best of 5).