Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft
Publisher/developer Activision Blizzard (Blizzard Entertainment) Format iOS, PC
Hearthstone’s great success isn’t the millions of users gathered, the imitators spawned, or the coins tumbling into Activision’s coffers, but its unbinding of the collectible card game from tabletop esoterica to become an all-embracing, life-consuming digital pursuit. Few could pull off such a transmogrification, but Blizzard’s deft touch is evident in the tactility it imbues in incorporeal cards, in streamlined mechanics with fathoms of depth, and in the delicate interleaving of a multitude of powers.
Every CCG represents a perilous balancing act – one overpowered card can suck choice and strategy from the game – but Blizzard’s post-launch support has kept the embers stoked for the duration of 2014, with judicious checks to too-dominant meta trends and a broadening of the game via the Naxxramas expansion. Yet Hearthstone is more than a paragon of gamecraft, it is a work that inspires devotion in unlikely places. Sheer magic.