2014 saw the release of three or four interesting and excellent card games, but it was Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft that most captured our attention and drew us back for match after match.
Alec: I’ve shied away from multiplayer in the last couple of years. Partly it’s self-consciousness, and partly because the constant background sound of bloodcurdling screaming* whenever my microphone was turned on didn’t seem fair on everyone else. Hearthstone was very much a way back, and not simply because it worked pretty well on my Surface Pro’s touchscreen (though that was very much a factor). Given it comes from a developer which once thought that making its players’ real names public was a good idea, the way Hearthstone strips everything back to anonymity is impressive. It’s about the deck you face, not the player you face. I needn’t worry about being scrutinised or humiliated – win or lose, I’d be out of there and never seen again by my opponent. And I don’t care about them, either. I just care about the cards.