Would-be card masters are instantly pulled in by this popular game's presentation, but are further wowed by its heroes, animated game board, and spectacular visuals. Hearthstone players quickly learn the fun of choosing a hero, smashing an opponent, building a deck, and opening new card packs. Practice and patience are required to absorb the hundreds of skills, spells, and abilities, and crafting a game-winning deck takes finesse. But cool graphics and effects make it fun, and since all the cards can be earned, purchases are entirely optional.
Periodically, updates add new content to the game such as the recent expansion, The Witchwood. This spooky expansion introduces new cards and new gameplay mechanics, and its new single-player Monster Hunter mode casts you as one of four unique heroes. Here, the heroes venture into a dangerous forest and fight their way through a gauntlet of increasingly dangerous opponents until they face the nightmare-inducing witch, Hagatha. This entertaining (and challenging) addition injects a range of cool new cards into the game and echoes previous story-rich expansions by tapping into popular Warcraft lore. Mind you, Hearthstone isn't easy. Some single player modes can prove unbeatable for beginning (or even intermediate) players. Still, tenacious players are rewarded with both hilarious narratives and the satisfaction of increased mastery. Even better, short match times (on average, ten to fifteen minutes) mean you can hone your skills a little at a time. The amazing presentation and fun, bite-sized matches are enough on their own, but add to them the game's enthusiastic community -- public Hearthstone meet-ups are frequently held, with lots of free stuff given to attendees -- and you've got a collectible card game you and your kids can feel good about enjoying together.