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Hearthstone: Battlegrounds Review
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Posted: 10 weeks ago, last updated 9 weeks ago.

Author: Ben Kendall and @GeekDadGamer.

OverviewOverview

Battlegrounds is a strategic fighting game mode in Hearthstone, where you collect and upgrade cards and pit your deck against 7 other players. Buy and sell the best cards, upgrade their abilities and more as you uncover winning strategies in this highly tactical and skill-based game.

Hearthstone: Battlegrounds is one of the latest additions to Hearthstone. It's a collection of card-based mini-games set in the Warcraft universe, you face off against 7 other players, and use cards, each representing characters, powers and abilities, to be the last one standing. Each game is split into rounds, during which you face off against a single opponent, the winner of which plays the winner of a different 1-versus-1 until an ultimate victor emerges.

During each one of these 1-versus-1 matches, you have the chance to buy and exchange minions (cards), each of which has unique abilities, and then place them down in specific areas. These minions then fight each other, until one player has no minions left and the other player can deal damage. The 1v1 match ends when one player has no health left. Before you recruit minions, each turn you can upgrade the tavern, where you buy the minions, making them more affordable and stronger.

It's a complex game filled with strategy, tactics and critical thinking, that has a unique set of rules and game mechanics that make it a novel offering.

Other game modes within Hearthstone, which offer different types of multiplayer and solo combat, include the following:
  • Arena, where you use a single set of 30 cards you select from 90 and see how many opponents you can beat in a single streak.
  • Dungeon Run and the multiplayer equivalent, Duels, where you build a deck of 15 of your own cards and use them to battle opponents.
  • Mercenaries, which focusses on party-based combat through procedurally-generated dungeons.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 12/11/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Fighting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Blizzard Ent (@Blizzard_Ent)

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: It takes between 10 minutes and 40 minutes to play a round of this game. The length each round lasts depends on your position and how quickly you are knocked out, but each round will typically take around 15-25 minutes.
 
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online. You play online with 7 other players in all-against-all matches.

Cross-Play: The game supports cross-play, meaning you don't all need to be playing on the same type of system.

CostsCosts

Hearthstone: Battlegrounds

Steam Store PC Free
Steam Store Mac Free
App Store iOS Free
Android Store Android Free
 
This game is free to play. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent.  

You don’t need a platform subscription to play this game online. In Hearthstone, you can buy items that have a chance to give you rare cards. the price of these packs, and other in-game purchases, ranges from £1.79/$1.99 to £44.99/$49.99.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Hearthstone is rated PEGI 7 for Violence and Fear. There are references to "destroying" and "damaging" one's opponent and players can shoot elements towards each other's cards. Sometimes, a skull is shown, indicating that their character has been defeated. No violence is seen, as the characters are still and non-sentient, although it is implied. The game includes a scene showing a character holding a beer keg. The game features the use of themed playing cards that contain images of characters drawn from the World of Warcraft. The images depicted might be scary or frightening to younger children.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Hearthstone is rated 12+ on the Apple App Store for Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References, Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence, Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor, Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes, and Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes.

Account Rating

You don’t need a platform subscription to play this game online.

AccessibilityAccessibility

There aren't any individual actions that need fast reactions, but the "recruitment" phase, where you get the minions for that turn's combat, has a time limit of a few seconds to minutes.

There are several sections of the same where the text is both small and low contrast, making it difficult to read. Because all of the game's information is conveyed visually, no sound is needed to play.

The game has a matchmaking system that automatically finds people of a similar skill level to you, so the difficulty shouldn't ever be too overwhelming, even though there aren't dedicated difficulty settings.
 
Our Hearthstone: Battlegrounds Accessibility Report documents 17 accessibility features:

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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