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Hearthstone now on iOS and Android smartphones

Blizzard's combat strategy card game has been a hit on desktops and tablets, but now you'll be able to take it anywhere you go.


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Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Blizzard's Hearthstone: Heroes of World of Warcraft (iOS|Android) is now iOS Universal so you'll finally be able to play on your iPhone. It is also now available on Android tablets and phones with a redesigned interface for smartphones making it easier to play on smaller screens.

For those who haven't played, Hearthstone is a combat strategy card game similar to Magic: the Gathering, where you can design your deck, then play against either AI or real opponents online to see who wins. The game has a lot of polish, and tutorial levels make it easy to get started even if you've never played strategy card games before.

Now that it's on smartphones, people will have a much easier time playing it on the go, but Blizzard had to make a couple changes to optimize the game for the small screen.

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With a tap, you can make your cards bigger and more readable. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Zoom in on cards

Hearthstone needs a certain amount of screen real estate because there can be many cards on the board at any given time. On a desktop computer and even on a tablet, all the cards are easy to read. But when you play on a smartphone screen, having all the playing area in view is a challenge, especially when you want to look at the cards in your hand.

To make them legible, Blizzard added a new interface element. Your hand of cards sits on the bottom of the screen, only half visible. When you want to get a closer look, you tap your hand to get a zoomed-in version of the cards. When you want to see a single card full screen, you can touch and hold to make sure you can read all the details.

This method adds an extra step compared with desktop and tablet versions, but it seems like the best solution for seeing your cards up close on a smartphone.

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Tap and hold a card to see it close up so you can read the details. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Play the full game

Even though there are slight differences to the interface, it's great to see the full game playable on smartphones. You can practice against the AI, play casual or expert matches against real players, and edit your decks in much the same way you can on desktop and laptop. Play a full game on a phone and you'll be rewarded with a free pack, too.

The game also supports both the Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain expansions, but you'll need to purchase them separately for $20 and $25, respectively, in the US; £15 and £19 in the UK; and AU$25 and AU$32 in Australia.

Of course, your account is synced to Blizzard's Battle.net system, so you'll be able to play a game on any device and it will count towards your wins, losses, stats and ranking. That does mean you need a working data connection to play at all, however, even against the AI.