I’ve never been one for card games…until Blizzard made it fun. Hearthstone is currently in open beta, and I am loving every minute playing it at the moment. You choose a class, can customise your deck and do battle with other players online, or just play around in practice mode.
You both start with 30 health and 3 cards, cards cost mana to play, which builds up with each turn. At it’s heart it’s a strategy game, one which is easy to learn, but very tough to master, as the luck of the draw will always be a factor. I’ve come back from 4 health to win a game, and lost miserably due to silly mistakes. The first few games I played, I lost, all 4 of them, but something keeps me going back for one more go. Here’s my thoughts so far.
Things I love so far;
- The range of classes on offer is excellent and caters for lots of different styles of gameplay.
- The battle animations themselves are top notch, spells come with majestic twinkly noises, and hits from minions break up the board and particles fly up from the cards.
- There is an excellent social aspect already, with a friends list, and easy to use chat features.
- Play options on offer…you can practice, play online against others, or if you have extra time, battle it out in several arena matches for prizes.
- Creating custom decks is simple to do.
Things that need a little work to make me happy;
- First on my list would be a way to swap/trade cards with other players, even just people on my friends list would be great.
- The cost of entering the arena is 150 coins…sure these can be earned in game…but that’s not cheap!
- Having to unlock all the classes at the start can be a lengthy process.
The game looks great, the music accompanies well, and each battle is unique depending on your class, deck and opponent. It’s a deep and tactical game, that’s also fun and easy to jump into…Blizzard, I tip my hat to you on this one.
You can download Hearthstone and play for free by clicking here. I play mainly as Rogue but also as Priest or Hunter, and my battlenet ID is Astrocyte#2419.
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
This was actually my free game that I received as part of Nintendo’s too many games promotion, which meant that if you purchased 3 titles from a selection of 8 before the end of June, you could choose another one of the 8 free. The reason I didn’t buy this, is because I knew how much I would struggle to complete levels! It’s an excellent platformer, and lots of fun, until you fall or mis jump on the same part of a level for the 50th time. It’s a real old school platformer that’s been bought up to date with a bright, smooth graphical presentation, and the added 3D element…these features however, don’t make me any better at the game.
Animal Crossing New Leaf
Confession time…I still play Animal Crossing Wild World, 7 years after it’s release. There’s just something addictively enduring about these games. It’s hard to describe the AC games to someone, I always want to say they are like a fun version of the Sims, but they are so much more than that, and to me at least, much more appealing. Basically, you play as a human living in a town full of animal characters, each with their own interests and differing personalities, and you choose how to spend your time, fishing, digging for fossils, taking trips to a tropical island and bug catching all earn you currency to upgrade and improve both your house, and your town. There are events all year round, mini games, and the villagers also give you tasks to do. When I write it down, it seems much less appealing than it is, so I highly recommend you give it a try for yourself. I’m currently loving visiting other gaming buddies’ towns, and seeing what’s for sale in their shops. (Shop content changes daily, and varies from player to player.)
Fire Emblem Awakening
This is the most complex game I have ever played on a handheld console, but this is a good thing. It’s a turn based strategy RPG, with a deep and complex story and challenging battles. Graphically I believe it’s the best looking title on the 3DS, the battle scenes especially, are beautiful. Each character has their own back story, and role within the game and battles, and your job is to position them to get the best from their different abilities, strengths and weaknesses. This game will be keeping me occupied years from now, and comes highly recommended as an essential title for all 3DS owners.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 (Dark Moon)
Poor Luigi, stuck in mansions with nothing but a vacuum cleaner between him and all sorts of ghosts and ghouls. This game is an adventure game with puzzle elements, that doesn’t stray too far from the first game, with the exception of some nifty new tools and features for the sequel. A great game for both adults and younger audiences, with some surprisingly challenging puzzles for the completionists out there, who want to collect everything.