[english translation of: Hearthstone und das Verstehen von Spelunken]
As a child, I was kind of afraid of these places, those for outsiders seemingly abandoned dives with the slot machines. They were an indicator of the seediness of an area for me. Who should haven been inside, if not villains and prowlers who wanted to get rid of their change, shied away from daylight? It probably smelled of beer and cigarettes there. Because even the paying clientele stank of beer and cigarettes and there was no one who cleaned something from time to time. For example the one-armed bandits or whatever else there was at gambling machines. And what a passion it must have been that inspired people for such games. Insert coin, press buttons, wait for pictures. 7. lemon. plum. Shit, no profit. Maybe another machine was more generous. Insert coin, press buttons, wait for pictures. crown. 20. 90. Nothing again. Compared with this I praised my Super Mario on the Game Boy that would test my dexterity, let me defeat opponents and complete adventurous levels. To this day I have never seen any of these suburban casinos from the inside and still am not keen on it. However, since I’ve logged in to Hearthstone again, it seems to me that I can understand the fascination of slot machines with money-making opportunities. I came back to Hearthstone after a long break because at the moment I did not want to start a triple-A game with a huge campaign and complicated game mechanics. So I quickly fell for the mobile version of the online trading card game by Blizzard. The gameplay is simple, the procedure to improve just as simple for someone who remembers forerunners of the genre, like Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering. The game is played with a hero who commands a deck of monster and spell cards. These are summoned by the use of mana. The goal is the annihilation of the enemy’s health points. Duels are fought against the computer or other users. In addition, there are modes that stand out through storylines and puzzle tasks. Properly the setting is a tavern. So, basically a medieval dive. And in the end, Hearthstone remains a game that can be enjoyed without any mental effort. Because it is based on the paper-stone-scissors principle. Paper, these are the attacking values of the monsters. Stone, the defense values. Scissors, the supportive effects that reinforce one or the other. Who is cleverer positioned wins. And you only get the right cards by gambling. One game. One more. Again and again. While the next opponent is being searched, a rattling slot turns. As it is usual in the dives. At the sticky machines. Now I’m sitting there, on a sunny day. The shutters are only pulled up by a quarter. Thanks to Battle.net I can switch to the laptop and play with my account on a bigger screen. It must look dodgy, as I squat at the dining table, in the twilight of my room. For two or three hours. Why do I then sometimes smell beer and cigarettes? I press the mouse buttons and wait for new pictures that will hopefully increase my chances of winning. Magma Rager. Silverback Patriarch. Angry Chicken. This round is lost.
© featured image: Blizzard Entertainment