Hearthstone is an upcoming CCG game from Blizzard based on the (World of )Warcraft lore. In general the game plays like World of Warcraft TCG. Two heroes are pitted against each other, each having a certain amount of life. With spells and creatures you are trying to beat the opposing hero by zero-ing his or her life total. Each player has a 30 card deck from which he draws spells. Each turn you gain one mana crystal that you can spend each turn. Thus on turn two you have 2 mana crystals, on turn 3 you have 3 mana crystals that you can use etc. The cards have a mana cost. To pay for it you need to have enough mana crystals available. That's about it^_^.
At the beginning you choose a hero out of the nine available (each hero represents a class). Each hero also has an ability that you can use each turn (it has a cost as well). There are cards that are class specific and that adds to the variety of the game. After winning or playing a game your hero gets some experience points. After reaching a certain amount of them the hero levels up and that usually means new cards^_^. Bringing them to an altar opens the booster pack and you can upgrade your deck (or you can simply buy the cards). There are five cards in a booster pack. You can get cards of a common, rare, legendary or epic rarity. There will be the possibility to trade A LOT of crap cards for better cards or foil versions. That sounds good actually...Also you can craft other cards.
So far it sounds as any other card game there is. That's true but I have to say that the graphics and all the small things that you can do there (like clicking on something that makes sound or triggers some kind of animation) is really cool. The sounds, graphics and animations are simply awesome. Thanks to this you can also see what your opponent does... that he's going through his cards in hand, thinks about what to target etc. The art and digital animation + voice acting is a really awesome experience. I did not believe that at first but when I played the game I enjoyed that as well. (and I'm the kind of person who reads text spoilers for new sets in games like Magic: The Gathering and does not really care about images and stuff.)
Sometimes the card names and images are same as card names/images from World of Warcraft. That makes it a bit confusing but as long as one reads what the card does he's fine. The game also has a history which is awesome. You can check that to see what your opponent played and what that card does. You can also chat with your opponent during the game.
Matching is done via Battle.net obviously. The game should be free to play. You can either buy new cards or unlock them by leveling up your hero.
The game is really fun with each turn the game gets more intense and everything actually seems to be pretty balanced. So we will see how the game evolves. If you are from United States (or some other countries that are not located in Asia or Europe - countries are listed on the page) you can try to get a beta key via Hearthstone Facebook page. You might get lucky unlike us in Europe. We will have to wait for the release I guess. But playing the game at Gamescom was really fun. Now I know that I'll certainly play the game. The game will be released for PC, Mac and iPad. (yes, you read correctly when you don't see Android there....)