Blizzard has decided to hold off on the Hearthstone open beta until January, giving you a bit more free time until you sink into the depths of multiplayer online card gaming addiction.
Hearthstone is a free-to-play card game similar to an online version of Magic the Gathering where players either purchase or grind their way to collecting decks to compete online. Unfortunately this writer has been involved in the closed beta and gave up a good chunk of his life last month to an intense addition. While never knowing that he would enjoy card games Hearthstone is wonderfully addictive in a brilliant, G-rated way. Players take control of characters from the Warcraft universe and use a series of beasts and spells on a game table (see the image above) to defeat opponents. Online matchmaking is very quick and attempts to match gamers in roughly even battles, although it must admitted that losing happens more than winning when you're starting out.
Gamers can opt in to the closed beta before December 16 although if you wait until January 7 the open beta is set to launch. Hearthstone is available on PC now but when it eventually launches will be targeted at mobile devices. As a mobile/tablet game Hearthstone is going to find its way into your life as one of the best free-to-play games out there.