Category Archives: Card

'Exploding Kittens' is a Blast of a Game That's a Couple of Features Away from Being Amazing

How can hurting kittens be any fun? I mean, they truly are the cutest beings ever, and yet here I am reviewing a game called Exploding Kittens [$1.99], which I very much enjoy playing. I suppose it's somewhat similar to playing Cards Against Humanity and making the weirdest, most inappropriate card combos just for laughs. But, I digress. Exploding Kittens is the digital version of the Kickstarter-darling card game with the same name that's gone to break all kinds of records. It's not the most complex card game, but it was never aiming for that; rather, the physical version of Exploding Kittens bet on the cute art combined with the totally inappropriate theme of hurting cute kittens and managed to deliver a quick, fun card game that hits the right balance between being casual and still having enough complexity to keep it interesting after multiple rounds...

'Whispers of the Old Gods' Spoilers, Standard Nerfs, Crazy Videos, and More 'Hearthstone' News in Touchstone #41

Welcome to another weekly roundup of Hearthstone [Free] news, and as has been the case the last few weeks, Whispers of the Old Gods news is what's capturing all the headlines. We continue to see a trickle of cards spoiled daily, with some creating anticipation while others having players question Blizzard's strategy. Despite the complaints, everyone's happy to see more cards from the upcoming expansion, and everyone's impatience is growing daily. We all want not just the expansion to hit but also the change to Standard that should usher in a different era for Hearthstone populated by new archetypes and new ideas; at least that's everyone's hope. This week, we also got more predictions about the various nerfs coming to Classic and Basic cards, and, of course, some tournament news. So, let's proceed...




Remember how last week Blizzard briefly advertised An Evil Exchange as that week's Tavern Brawl only for us to find out that we were actually getting a different Hearthstone [Free] Brawl? Well, this week we actually are getting An Evil Exchange where Kel'Thuzad and Rafaam are competing to see who is the superior endboss. You, of course, have to take a side and fight for evil supremacy. This is a brand new Brawl with pre-constructed decks that has some very interesting ideas. Kel'Thuzad has 30 health and 30 armor while Rafaam has 60 health, so expect matches to take a bit longer than usual. Kel'Thuzad's Hero Power appropriately brings a random minion back from the dead while Rafaam's is definitely a more interesting one...

'Whispers of the Old Gods' Spoilers, Standard Talk, Videos by Kripp and Trump, and More Weekly 'Hearthstone' News in Touchstone #40

We have officially hit Touchstone Number 40. That's a lot of Hearthstone [Free] news, isn't it? Thank you for reading every week, and hopefully you'll continue to enjoy this column. On with the news, now. Blizzard continues to tease us with Whispers of the Old Gods spoilers, and the cards we've seen so far definitely look intriguing. Whether they'll actually see much play is hard to tell, but it's a fun mental exercise trying to guess how the meta will look once we lose GvG and Naxx while at the same time getting all these new cards. We also have news on the latest patch, including the latest Hero portrait to hit the game, a question on whether Wild should be the default mode, and plenty of tournament news. And, as always, we have some very entertaining and informative videos, too. On we go, then...

Exploding Kittens [$1.99] has been quite the phenomenon after blowing up (pun intended) Kickstarter and becoming the most-backed game in Kickstarter history when it came out as well as the campaign with the most number of backers. When it finally made the jump to mobile in January, the game looked really good but only had local multiplayer, to the disappointment of many. Fear not, though, because from today you can blow up innocent kitties across the world since the game finally has online multiplayer. The way they implemented the multiplayer side of the game is quite simple but quite smart too; you can, of course, play online with random players, but you can also organize private games...

In addition to the announcing the first details to its next Hearthstone [Free] expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods this morning, Blizzard also unveiled to all players the first six of the slated 134 cards of the expansion pack. Two of the announced cards, the Legendary C’Thun and Beckoner of Evil are bonus cards that will be provided to players on the first expansion pack opened, allowing players the opportunity to start building C’Thun decks quickly. The other cards offer a decent cross section of cultist cards that modify C’Thun as well as showcase the overarching theme of the expansion (namely cards that have been twisted by the call of the old Gods). Hit the break to see the official card art in all its high definition glory. Meanwhile, stick with us as we continue our coverage on Hearthstone’s latest expansion...

Blizzard Announces Next 'Hearthstone' Expansion: 'Whispers of the Old Gods'

Earlier today at the Americas Winter Championship Blizzard took the wraps off of their latest Hearthstone [Free] expansion, which looks to take the game in a much different direction than the last few expansions both from a gameplay and thematic standpoint. Focusing on the old C’Thun, Y’Shaarj, Yogg-Saron, N’Zoth, from a thematic standpoint Whispers of the Old Gods decidedly takes a much more darker approach than the League of Explorers Adventure or its last expansion, The Grand Tournament. The backstory for the expansion has the old gods warping and twisting the inhabitants of Azeroth (which is typically the only way they can typically influence the world, if you follow Warcraft lore)...

One of the main reasons players are excited about Hearthstone [Free] getting a Standard mode soon is that deckbuilding skills should matter more since most of the old archetypes should be going away. Blizzard has decided to help players improve their deckbuilding skills - or at least have viable decks to play with - by introducing Deck Recipes right in the client. Many Hearthstone players are used to netdecking, but that means having to search decks online, which isn't as easy to do when playing on a tablet rather than a computer. Deck Recipes will instead give three deck options for each class - one classic and two themed - that will allow any player to go into the fray knowing that she's got a good deck to pilot...

If you've been reading any of my weekly roundups of Hearthstone [Free] news, you'll know I've been waiting for the next expansion (and the shift to Standard) for weeks now. Well, we finally have an official announcement about the official announcement of what's next for Hearthstone. Yesterday, Blizzard announced that something inside the Tavern stirs, and Lead Designer Ben Brode and Senior Producer Yong Woo will let us know what that is on March 11th at the Americas Winter Championship. The announcement of the announcement stops short of offering any clues on what will be announced; the only information is that the announcement will take place March 11th, 10 am PST and will be streamed live on the Hearthstone Twitch Channel...

'Clash Royale' Review - A Hybrid of Card Games, RTS, MOBA, and Awesome

Reviewing these mega-releases always feels like a bit of formality, as if you've paid any attention to the mobile gaming scene over the last few months, you probably already followed our guide and have been playing the soft launched version of Clash Royale [Free], if for no reason other than to see what all the fuss is about. Well, the game officially launched worldwide early this morning along side the biggest Apple feature we've ever seen in App Store history, and when you combine Supercell's penchant for huge blown-out advertising campaigns, I'm guessing it won't be long until they start blasting all available airwaves with celebrity-packed Clash Royale TV commercials. The good news is the game itself is absolutely phenomenal, and much like Clash of Clans [Free], will undoubtedly summon a veritable tsunami of copycats and highly "inspired" spinoffs... Which might not necessarily be the worst thing, as the combination of genres and gameplay mechanics in Clash Royale actually works incredibly well for a mobile game...

Are we about to see Auras in the next Hearthstone [Free] expansion? The answer to that is maybe, since today's Tavern Brawl, Deal Your Fate, is all about Auras. Why does that matter, you may ask? Well, this is the second Brawl we get in the last two months that uses an Aura-like mechanic (the previous one was Battles of the Builds). And, if you remember, Blizzard tried to give us a taste of the Discover mechanic prior to the release of League of Explorers with Captain's Blackheart's Treasure, so this might be a similar tease. Okay, let's take one thing at a time. What are Auras? An Aura (called 'Fates' in this Brawl) is an effect that remains in play for more than a single turn, sometimes until the end of the game, and cannot be silenced...

It's been taking the soft-launch world by storm, and although Supercell has been relatively quiet about its worldwide launch it appears that today is the day that Clash Royale [Free] is finally seeing a wide release. Just moments ago the game popped up in the US App Store, and although it's a bit impossible to check every region you should probably hop over and check if it's in your local App Store as well. ..

Card games have existed long before Hearthstone came around, and will exist long after it is shut down, however many years away we are from that point. But there's no denying that some titles lift a little too generously from Blizzard's recent cash cow, almost to the point of creating a new "Hearth" subgenre. That's basically what Kung Fu Panda: Battle of Destiny [Free] does, but with more...erm...pandas. Wait Hearthstone already has pandas! Well this has...Mr. Ping and a few lines from Jack Black...

How's that for a player base? So, according to Activision-Blizzard's Q4 2015 financial results (which you can read in detail here), Hearthstone [Free] surpassed the 40-million registered players milestone on November 6, 2015, and I'm sure everyone over at the company is still in a state of disbelief at how a side-project has turned into this juggernaut of a game. This is a pretty big number (which, of course, is both mobile and PC players), and shows how the game continues to grow at a pretty rapid pace, and that's without the upcoming format changes that should make the game more welcoming for new players. With the huge push Blizzard will likely do to advertise the new Standard format, I expect the pace of player growth to increase, which will be a good thing since there'll be a split in the player base between Wild and Standard...

We're all looking forward to Tinytouchtales' new upcoming game Card Thief, but that doesn't mean we've forgotten about the original game Card Crawl [$2.99], one of my own personal favorites from last year. After the hefty update back in December which added the fantastic Deck Merchant and a bunch of new ability cards, the next big Card Crawl update will rebalance a bunch of the game's ability cards and replace the current Streak Mode with a new tweaked version called Delve Mode, Tinytouchtales has detailed on their blog yesterday. ..

'Puzzle Strike' Review - A Great Game With a Few Missed Opportunities

The iOS version of Sirlin Games' Puzzle Strike [$3.99] is a tricky game to review. This is a fantastic game, if you're into deckbuilding games with a high degree of interactivity, and while it plays pretty well on mobile, there are some glaring omissions that detract from what would've been a mobile gem (pun intended). Still, even with issues like a lack of proper notifications and questionable UI decisions, Puzzle Strike is a great addition to the App Store and should more than satisfy those looking for a game that's easy to grasp but can take forever to master. While it definitely shines as a multiplayer game, Sirlin has packed the game with plenty of single-player content too like a pretty strong AI to play against as well as 10 Challenges that will test your skills and help you discover the game's strategic nuances. So, a great deckbuilding game, and a good mobile game, too...

Although I bet no one cares much about Hearthstone's [Free] Tavern Brawl today after the pretty earthshaking news from yesterday, the Hearthstone world still turns and Brawls are still a thing. This week's Brawl, Blingtron's Beauteous Brawl, is a new one and it's all about weapons and more weapons. The match starts with both players having 10 Armor (to help with all the damage from the weapons), and at the start you each have a 2/2 Foam Sword weapon equipped and your Hero Power is Cash In: Destroy your weapon, gaining a random one. So, as you can imagine, this Brawl is all about weapons, and the randomness of the whole thing means you'll have no idea what weapon will pop up next...

Not many know this, but just before there was the digital-only Hearthstone CCG, there was Solforge [Free] by Stoneblade, a CCG that tried to take advantage of what a digital platform has to offer. The game's been around for quite some time, but it's still in Beta and, unfortunately, its great gameplay ideas are hidden under a very clunky UI that was supposed to be a quick example of how the game will play rather than the game's actual UI. The game's been stuck with that UI - and with many other client technical issues - for years now, but, fortunately, we are getting closer to the release of the new UI that should give the game the opportunity to get new players aboard. Back in October, we got a first glimpse of the new UI, and I was really disappointed at what I saw even though I knew it was still a work-in-progress...

Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99], one of the most entertaining card games on the App Store, is getting its 3rd full expansion this Friday, and it's a big one, too. Shattered Timelines is all about, you guessed it, alternate worlds clashing with all kinds of crazy results. Heroes turn to villains and the other way around, and environments blend and crumble. So, as you can imagine, this is a fun expansion that was quite well received when it came out for the physical version of the game. The update includes 8 new decks, just like Rook City and Infernal Relics, with 2 heroes, 4 villains, and 2 new environments. The heroes are Chrono-Trigger and Omnitron-X, the villains are The Dreamer, Kismet, Le Capitan, and Iron Legacy, and the environments Time Cataclysm and The Block...

2016 is a really weird year, y'all. A reality TV star is a serious presidential candidate. Meanwhile, a former Secretary of Defense is now making a video game based on a card game variant made by a British prime minister? Yes, Donald Rumsfeld has teamed up with Javelin and Snapdragon Studios to make Churchill Solitaire [Free] for iOS. It's based off of a solitaire variant invented by Winston Churchill himself to supposedly increase his strategic thinking. According to the game, Churchill told a Belgian diplomat named Andre de Staercke about his solitaire variant, who later befriended Donald Rumsfeld and told hima bout the game. Rumsfeld would play the game many times for the next 40 years, until he partnered up with the Churchill Heritage to make a digital version of what is now called Churchill Solitaire...

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