Hearthstone – a teacher’s point of view

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Video games can offer a lot other than just brain draining screen time.  One of the most popular games in the world is also one of the best mental maths work outs that I have ever come across.

Hearthstone is a free to play card game produced by Blizzard Entertainment.  Blizzard have made some of the most popular video games ever.  Their top titles are World of Warcraft; the world’s largest MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online game), Starcraft; the world’s top competitive real-time strategy game and the Diablo series, the world’s best selling action role playing game.20130927021742a0dl9fx3or4b46g1

Hearthstone is a simple to learn, difficult to master game that can be played on PC, MAC and iPad, Android support is due sometime later this year.  Hearthstone consists of two players placing cards on a table top opposite one another and attempt to whittle away the opponents health from 30 to 0.  The cards are a mix of types such as creatures, spells, secrets etc.  

The most common card is the creature card, they each have a number of their attack and their health.  All cards cost mana to play.  At the start of the match each player has 1 mana to use and every turn that number increases by 1.  Already that is quite a lot of numbers.  Most cards however adjust these numbers in various ways meaning the only way to be successful is to be quick and accurate with your mental maths skills.  Every turn is against the clock so sums and decisions must be made quickly.

Each turn players must judge the cards in play, the damage they can do, the potential plays in their hand…  All of these decisions are entirely based upon an easy to follow number system that quickly creates a lot of depth.  DSAM8UJ8Q6B41379665685849

If mental maths is something that yourself or your child needs to practice then Hearthstone is a stunning way of doing maths for fun.  Most people play it for the fun of playing the game, but without doubt their mental maths skills will improve as they play.

Cards offer players basic attack and health statistics as well as abilities than multiply attack amounts, deal random damage, heal friendly cards, deal more hands from a deck into the players hand and many, many more.  To play Hearthstone well you need to be able to calculate what these combinations of should be played and in which order to get the best outcome.  The calculations need to be done in your head and quickly.  The more you play the better you get at learning which combinations of effects work best and depending on what cards are in play when is the best time to use them.

To try out Hearthstone for yourself CLICK HERE.  Remember that Hearthstone is entirely free to play, extra packs of cards can be brought but they can all be earnt for free in-game.  I have played plenty and have not spent a penny.

Here is an example game.

 

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