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Steal a city in the first free episode of The Dalaran Heist Hearthstone adventure


My days by the Hearthstone are mostly long behind me, but every now and then I get lured back by something shiny. That's happened with The Dalaran Heist, a Solo Adventure released yesterday as part of the Rise Of Shadows expansion. It's about beating up gnomes and beleaguered zombie bureaucrats in an attempt to steal the floating city of Dalaran, and the first chunk is free.

You're not actually stealing the city, for now. This initial foray into the dark side is a preliminary raid on a bank, which seems pointless given the overarching plan to steal the bank itself along with all the buildings around it, but what do I know. I'm new to this whole evil lark.

I like how it's structured. You start by picking a hero, a hero power, and a wee minion card - though at first you won't have enough of the special expansion currency to plump for anything other than the default options. Your goal is to defeat 8 bosses, and between each victory you choose a bundle of three additional cards, and sometimes a MASSIVE passive upgrade. I could double my health for the entire mission, if I wanted, but I instead chose to increase my opponent's minion card costs by one mana.

It's too easy, in a way. My Hearthstone knowledge is both faded and outdated, but I had no trouble at all squashing that zombie. Or the gnome, really, partly because they both only started with 15 health. I might try the Heroic difficulty mode, once I've finished my run and unlocked it. Or I might not.

As much as part of me misses the tough decision making from games like Artifact and Duelyst, another part kinda digs how gentle this is. I'm not having to think for very hard or very long, but there's still satisfaction in piloting towards victory. This is a bank, which means the board starts with a 0/3 minion you can kill to give yourself two coins. I let that zombie destroy it with her own indiscriminate attacks, then used both coins at once to jump from 6 to 8 mana and summon a stupidly good legendary dragon.

It's a romp, not a gauntlet. Not that I'm going to fork up the £17/$20 for the other four missions. One of those is already out, and another will be released each week until June 6th.

I'm going to earn three Rise Of Shadows packs for finishing this though and, damn it, I can see them tempting me back into the rest of the game. A few rounds of Hearthstone used to be part of my bedtime ritual, and I'm beginning to remember why.

More info about Rise of Shadows and Dalaran can be found over on yonder expansion page.

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Matt Cox


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