'Hearthstone' Virtual Card Game Debuts for iPad

Apr 16, 2014 05:10 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

"Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft," Blizzard Entertainment's virtual card game, is now available to play on Apple's iPad.

Touted as "deceptively simple, insanely fun" on its download page, Hearthstone has been popular in its closed and open beta versions and has been available in a PC version for several months, a Forbes contributor reported.

The high-quality battle card game is simple to use and initially free to play, working with a model that allows users to buy more card packs in microtransactions.

More challenging than most titles, Hearthstone draws in gamers with its variety of playing cards and powers and quickly changing battlefield.

"Hearthstone's challenge could actually be its relative complexity compared to other popular mobile titles," Forbes contributor Paul Tassi wrote.

"The scene is filled with lowest common denominator gameplay, and the simplest concepts are usually the ones that find the most success. Matching numbers or colors, steering cartoon animals through pipes. It's hard to get more simple than that, and in contrast, a Hearthstone match can be an almost chess-like battle at times."

While not as complicated as traditional card games, Hearthstone is still far more intricate than games involving brightly colored numbers or animals that have to be steered around pipes, Tassi said. The complexity could also work against it if non-gamers resist adopting a more difficult app.  

According to the iTunes game store, Hearthstone is rated for ages 12 and up and supports as many as a dozen languages. Players can build their decks with hundreds of different cards, strategizing with various spells and minions. Because card collections are linked to online accounts, players will be able to switch between PC and tablet devices for play.

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