Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft-set card battler Hearthstone for iPhone pits you, the hero, against a slew of enemies and their minions, playing minion and spell cards until your opponent's health goes down to zero. Hearthstone is free to play but heavily relies on in-app purchases.
Intuitive gameplay: Attack an opponent or one of their minions by tapping and dragging to place a card on the board and then aiming and firing a card out at them with a sling-like swiping gesture. You can keep playing cards until the End Turn button on the side lights up green. Tap it, and then it's your opponent's turn. Keep going till your opponent's health deteriorates from 30 to zero and then you win and are rewarded with more collectible cards. Conversely, if your health level hits zero first, you lose. You'll see your progress after each match on a Mission Progress board.
Rules aren't too overwhelming: Card games often have a lot of complex, compound rule interactions to commit to memory. But Hearthstone keeps things pretty simple by placing attack capabilities on cards and telling users when and how they may use different cards.
Brains over brawn: What keeps Hearthstone exciting is the cunning strategy necessary to come out on top. When is the optimal time to use a particular card? Should you go after an arch enemy or a minion? Which cards should be combined to really wreak havoc? These are some of the questions you should figure out before throwing cards down.
Sights and sounds: The flashy graphics and amusing chatter between the World of Warcraft hero characters keep the game compelling. Also, prepare yourself for some dramatic special effects during fights.
Tips between rounds: You'll get helpful instructions, such as "Don't understand a card? Touch it and hold!" between rounds that help you along with the game.
New players at a disadvantage: The pace at which you can craft cards or collect free cards by progressing in the game is too slow for you to rely purely on that method of building a competitive deck. You also can't trade cards in the game. To be competitive, you'll want to spend money.
Hearthstone for iPhone is a fun, collectible card game. But be prepared to spend money if you want to build a competitive deck.