Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on iPad. It's incredible!
I didn't play the PC version of Hearthstone at all, so this is all brand-new to me, and it is stellar.
Now available for iPad, (I hope they'll consider a universal version) Hearthstone is a deck-building strategy game by Blizzard Entertainment set in the World of Warcraft universe. This fast-paced, turn-based game may be compared to Magic: The Gathering, but its closer in style to games like Shadow Era and Solforge. [Magic 2014, Shadow Era, Solforge at the App Store]
While those three are all wonderful games, what Hearthstone has over them is production value. Seemingly nothing has been overlooked; from the table art, card art, characters, voices — all of it is stunning. Selecting a card causes it to hover; as it does, it casts a shadow on the table. When you place a minion card, it changes to a circular token and hits the table with a thump. The griffon on the game board will roar and look up at you if you touch him. These details don't change the mechanics of the game, but they do make the game come alive.
The iPad is perhaps the perfect digital card game platform, and finally, it seems the general public is becoming aware of this. The App Store has a new section called "Card Battle Games," and while some of the titles are freemium junk, there's a handful of hidden gems such as Yomi.
Hopefully Hearthstone will encourage gamers to try these other games. By the way, Solforge is having a 30% off sale until 4/22/14. (I love that game as well — a superb game designed by Gary Games and Richard Garfield, creator of MTG, where cards level up as you use them, becoming increasingly more powerful iterations with enhanced artwork.)
If you love strategy games, give these a try, even if you don't normally play trading card games. The digital format takes away the mess of physical cards and makes the normally arduous process of finding an opponent simple and nearly instantaneous.
As I'm still sort of a Hearthstone and Solforge beginner, I'm not comfortable writing a full review, but as both of these titles are free downloads, I can surely recommend them! Both come with free cards and you can earn more as you play!