New game on the block: Hearthstone

Introducing the all-new smartphone game that, after the downfall of Battlecats and Soccer Stars, has taken the C building lunch area by storm — Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Since its release on iPhone and Android in April, the multiplayer collectible card game skyrocketed in popularity, attracting over five million downloads and earning a 4.4 star rating on the Google Play Store. Blizzard Entertainment’s new project engages the player in strategic warfare in the form of mythical orcs, magicians and sea monsters; its dynamic style has earned it national popularity, and Walnut is no exception.

With its introduction to Walnut, the game has caught the eyes of many. Take for example the juniors who eat lunch near the C building, many of whom play during lunch and class. The game’s appeal, however, lies not in its minimal graphic appeal or tacky catchphrases, but rather in its “one-on-one” style of play.

“I was introduced to it from a friend who told me it was a lot of fun,” junior Kenny Handjojo said. “Initially I used it just to play with friends and then after getting into the game it became more of a rivalry. Sometimes I’ll be like ‘Ay wanna battle?’ and we’ll play to see who can gain the most skill and experience because there is a satisfaction in winning each game. It brings incentive to continue playing and get better.”

But the game also comes with its detriments. Its simplistic style of play invites players to multitask and makes it an enticing distraction in the classroom.

“It’s fairly easy to get into; the game is on the phone so it’s easily accessible. You can play with your friends in school and it’s turn based so it doesn’t require 100 percent of your attention, meaning you can do things in class while still playing,” junior Daniel Yoon said.

There’s nothing like the sight of 15 kids all grouped together battling each on their smartphones during lunch. At first glance, it seems trivial and almost silly that a digital card game could stand as such a large influence on student life in the classroom and within communities of friends. It’s not about the phone game itself, but rather the culture surrounding it.

“A lot of my friends play it, so it’s fun for me to play with them and watch them play,” Yoon said. “ It gives me something to talk about with them also. I don’t play League of Legends and I didn’t play hearthstone until like a week ago, so I would be so left out when they talked about games but now I can join in on the fun!”

By Bryan Wong, Feature editor

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