Elaborate, satisfying card animations, excellently-paced unlockables, and developer Blizzard’s trademark polish make it extremely easy to slip into “just one more game…” mode. Eventually, my superficial enjoyment gave way to a deeper appreciation of Hearthstone’s elegant class and card balance - there is more than enough greatness here to drown out my occasional resentment of its random nature. After nearly 1,000 games I’m still hooked, and still discovering clever card interactions and combos.
Hearthstone’s brilliance is that it doesn’t rely on complex, complicated rule interactions to create or sustain skilled play. With a few exceptions (looking at you, Crazed Alchemist), card effects are self-explanatory and communicate their effects with just a few words. Fireball deals six damage. Assassinate destroys a minion. Chillwind Yeti is a fantastic mid-game minion with 4 attack and 5 health. Its accessibility is enticing: simply play minion and spell cards until your opponent’s health is depleted