Hearthstone is completely free to play. However it does contain microtransactions which players use to purchase or unlock additional cards. While purchasing the cards will allow players to unlock them quicker, they all still can be earned and unlocked through game play, without spending any money. For those new to the game there can be a pay to win aspect, making it difficult to win against players who’ve purchased cards.
Hearthstone is a free to play online collectible card game that takes place in the Warcraft universe. The game was released in 2014 for Windows and MacOS PCs and has since been released on both iOS and Android mobile platforms. The game features many similarities to the table top collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering. To date the game has more than 2000 different cards that have been released in various adventures and expansions.
Game play in Hearthstone consists of two players playing cards as they try to reduce their opponents life points to zero. Players will create a deck of 30 cards. These cards come in four types, minions, spells, weapons and hero cards. Players being Hearthstone with a set of basic cards and through game play or microtransactions ,they can obtain new, more powerful cards. There are also nine different types of characters to choose from, each having unique cards and abilities.
Each card costs a certain amount of mana to cast. Players will earn one mana each turn to a maximum of 10 mana. In addition to the starting set of cards, players gain access to many more cards through a number of options. The easiest and least costly is through playing the game. Playing the game, winning matches and earning experience will unlock dozens and dozens of additional cards without having to spend any money.
Since the game’s release in 2014, Blizzard has continually updated the set of cards available. On average about three new expansion sets of cards are released each year. This has brought the total number of cards to more than 2000. However, older cards are eventually removed from the standard set of cards. Cards also have a rarity as well with common, rare, epic and legendary cards. Legendary cards typically make up 15-17% of the cards in each set, with each more common card typing having a larger distribution.
The game also features cross-platform capability between Windows, MacOS and mobile platforms.
Hearthstone is available for free download from Blizzard Entertainments Battle.net distribution platform. Gamers will need to download, install and register with Battle.net prior to being able to install and play the game.