We have some good news for those hoping to try out Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming free-to-play collectible card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, before its official release date. You can play it right now.
A warning to would-be players, Hearthstone is unlike any game you have come to expect from Blizzard. It's a collectible card game, which plays similarly to the likes of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game or Magic: The Gathering. The main difference would be Hearthstone is completely online and will be running on Blizzard's Battle.net servers. There will also be a few game modes included as well, such as Arena Mode, Casual Matches, Practice Play and Ranked Matches.
As of now, there are over 375 cards in the game with plenty more on the way; obviously, some are going to be quite rarer than others. Booster packs, which add more cards to your overall library for you to create and tune your battle deck, can be unlocked through in-game currency, unlockable content and can be purchased as "freemium" content. Each booster pack will have five cards and at least one that is considered a rare quality or above (card rarity is based loosely on World of Warcraft's gear system). Blizzard isn't allowing players to trade cards just yet, but that might change in the future based on the players' responses (at least there isn't an Auction House this time).
Those hoping to partake in the open beta for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft can sign up (and get accepted rather quickly) by clicking here. Hearthstone is expected to have its official release sometime soon. iPhone and Android releases are planned but won't be on their way until months after Hearthstone's official PC and iPad release.