Collectible card games have been a prominent part of nerd gaming culture since the early '90s. Magic: the Gathering
forged a compelling genre and dozens of games have followed in its footsteps. But the past two decades have been a time of technology, and Magic
is a decidedly low-tech game. Like chess, it's been moved online in only the strictest emulation of real-world play. The game itself hasn't actually evolved to make use of technology. Enter Blizzard. Many of the developers at Blizzard grew up playing Magic
and other CCGs, and it seemed natural that they'd want to design one of their own. But Blizzard is video game company; managing cardboard print runs and scheduling tournaments isn't exactly in their wheelhouse. Thus, we get Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
, an entirely digital CCG. It's currently in closed beta test, but open beta is supposedly just around the corner. In this video (with transcript) we take a look at how the game is shaping up.