Posts Tagged: CCGs

Stone on the go: Hearthstone arrives for iPhone

Not different enough to make me a better player, apparently.

Not different enough to make me a better player, apparently.

Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is hugely popular. Today’s announcement from Blizzard Entertainment isn’t going to hurt that popularity at all. Blizzard released Hearthstone on iPad almost exactly one year ago and it didn’t make Android tablets until December, but today the game has opened up and can be played on both iPhone and Android phones.

The game has been given a facelift for the smaller screen, but otherwise it’s the full game that you’ve come to love (or hate). The major difference that I can see during play are that your cards are kept off to the side during play instead of being enlarged in the center of the screen like on the iPad. All you have to do it touch your hand to bring it to the center, however, so it’s not a major change. The only other difference I’ve noticed so far is the main menu, which is in a different configuration than the iPad or PC version.

The rollout of the update may take a while, so if it’s not showing up in your App Store yet, keep trying. That said, you should be able to snag it here for iPhone and here for Android devices.

Uncharacteristically, Blizzard hasn’t posted a corny video for this announcement yet, so we’ll post the corny trailer for the Blackrock Mountain expansion that launched nearly two weeks ago instead. Look for it after the break.

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A new gathering: Magic starts over with Duels: Origins

Kytheon? So, no one in the multiverse is just named "Bob" I'm guessing.

Kytheon? So, no one in the multiverse is just named “Bob” I’m guessing.

In the physical world, no CCG tops Magic: The Gathering. It was the first CCG and has crushed its competition to stand alone as a juggernaut among hobby gamers. In the digital realm, specifically on mobile devices, Magic has been less successful. For each of the last few years, Wizards has released an annual version of Magic for iPad called Duels of the Planeswalkers that offered a less-than-perfect Magic experience. Prior to last year’s version, the deck building was extremely limited and some year’s apps have been plagued with crashes and other bugs. Starting this year, Wizards is dropping the Duels of the Planeswalkers title and replacing it with Magic Duels: Origins.

This new version will launch with the cards from the upcoming Origins set, and will include the first-ever playable Planeswalker card. Also coming are an improved deck builder with a step-by-step deck construction guide, solo play vs. multiple AI opponents, new multiplayer options including Two-headed Giant mode, and a quest system with new challenges each week. Also changing is the annual nature of Magic. Instead of a new app released each summer, this app will remain and be updated and expanded via downloadable content.

Magic Duels: Origins will be, like its predecessors, free-to-play. Wizards is claiming that everything in the game is earnable, so you shouldn’t have to drop a dime into the game unless you want to speed things up. How much grinding that will entail remains to be seen.

Expect Magic Duels: Origins on you iPad this July. Trailer after the break.

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Editors’ Choice Game of the Year 2014 Runner-up: Hearthstone

Your high school cafeteria lunch table Magic game was never this attractive.

Your high school cafeteria lunch table Magic game was never this attractive.

When Blizzard first announced Hearthstone back in March of 2013 my heart sank. I didn’t want another collectible card game—aka: money pit—released for iPad? Why weren’t they bringing games like Diablo or World of Warcraft to the mobile space? Then they released Hearthstone and it wasn’t just a great card game, it also became a sensation boasting 20 million users and so many gamers streaming it on Twitch that it is now the 2nd most-watched game only losing out to League of Legends.

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Job’s done! : Hearthstone makes its way to Android

Android? And you thought the new GvG cards were a bit different.

Android? And you thought the new GvG cards were a bit different.

So, does anyone else think that Blizzard probably could have launched the Android version of Hearthstone last week alongside the release of the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion, and only kept it under wraps to give themselves another big headline a week later? Well, I guess it’s working, because here I am prattling away about it.

That’s right, this week’s big Hearthstone news is that it has left the confines of iPad and is now available on Android tablets as well. It’s the same great game with both expansions available as IAP, and anyone who logs in on an Android device will also get some free classic cards as well.

The game is currently available in Australia, New Zealand and Canada on both Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, and will roll out to the rest of the world on both sites over the next couple days. You can already grab it in the US over on Google Play, but the Amazon version still isn’t up.

After the break watch Tiddler Celestial vs. Firebat in the Hearthstone World Championship Finals that were held this November at BlizzCon.

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Stop, drop and scroll: Mojang’s Scrolls coming to Android next week

Dumping all my cards out in a pile on the floor is how I build decks in real life.

Dumping all my cards out in a pile on the floor is how I build decks in real life, too.

There’s a part of me that deeply hates Mojang. It’s the part that has to tell my 4 year-old “no” every 15 minutes when he asks if he can play more Minecraft, and then has to watch him melt into an blue-eyed puddle. Then there are those times I let him zip around his world on my iPad and I marvel at this toy that Mojang’s created which can unleash such creativity in such a young mind. It’s a wonder to watch him build and create.

Their follow-up to the juggernaut that is Minecraft is a collectible card game called Scrolls and it’s coming to PC/Mac and Android tablets next week on the 11th. The iPad version is on the way as well, and should follow shortly thereafter.

Scrolls is the usual 2-player CCG fare with 2 sorcerers battling each other by summoning creatures and structures as well as casting spells. Scrolls, however, has a lane based system in which your cards take physical shape and are placed on a hex grid for combat. The game has over 350 cards and there is also a crafting system in place to construct cards you really want and, in a really cool feature, you can also trade cards with other players for gold or other scrolls.

Unlike most digital CCGs, Scrolls will cost $5 to buy, but Mojang assured Owen that you don’t have to spend a penny after that.

Trailer after the break.

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Gnome in the arena: Goblins vs. Gnomes content available now in Arena mode

I've got a golden ticket.

I’ve got a golden ticket.

Blizzard Entertainment is known as being one of the most tight lipped developers out there, so I’m trying to figure out what the hell is in the water over there regarding Hearthstone.

First of all, they announce the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion at BlizzCon and its releasing only a month later instead of the customary “soon”, which turns into months if not years of waiting. Then they trickle out nearly every card in the expansion in the last couple weeks, and today they announce that all the Goblins vs. Gnomes cards are currently available in Hearthstone if you enter Arena mode. That’s right, you can fiddle with all 120+ new cards in Arena mode right now and, best of all, if you log in between now and Monday, your Arena run is on the house. Even if you’re in the middle of another Arena run, all you need to do is log in by Monday and you’ll be credited a free Arena run for whenever you want to use it.

That’s not all, though. Today Blizzard also launched spectator mode in Hearthstone, enabling you to log on and watch your friends play. Not quite as exciting as an expansion if all you look for is casual play, but I have a feeling that Hearthstone tournaments are going to start popping up like weeds.

You’ll have to wait until Monday if you want to actually add GvG cards to your collection, but until then head into the arena and give them a try. Nonsensical and gameplay free GvG trailer after the break.

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I hope you like my invention: Goblins vs. Gnomes hits Hearthstone on Monday

Looks like this Big Daddy is missing his little sister.

Looks like this Big Daddy is missing his Little Sister.

Hearthstone has been a staple on my iPad since it was launched back in April and, until November, I hadn’t had a month where I didn’t qualify for the new card back from Ranked Play. That’s right. I didn’t even play enough Hearthstone in November to get to level 20. Sad, no? Truth is, I was getting a little bored. The thought of creating a new deck, or netdecking, to try and match the latest meta just wasn’t doing it for me.

I have a feeling that will change on Monday when Blizzard is launching the much awaited expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes. We’ll be getting 120+ new cards, new unit types and more which should be more than enough to shake up the current meta and make deck-building really fun again.

Trailer after the break.

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