Anyone that knows me is keenly aware that I pretty much live and breathe gaming in all its forms.
My day job is running events for a local gaming store in the form of role-playing games, card games, and board games.
After I am done with that side of gaming, I play WoW and other video and computers games. Sometimes, I even review various gaming apps for AppAddict.net!
Once in a while an app comes through the line that seems to be designed exclusively for me and I get a little bit giddy. It allows me to have a side order of gaming with my gaming and a tall glass of gaming to wash the gaming down. Gaming.
WoW TCG Heroes is not a standalone game, but a utility for players of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game by Cryptozoic. In the WoW TCG, you have a main character your deck is built around. It tells you information on how to build your deck as well as your health and special gameplay rules. Your hero doesn’t ever get shuffled into your deck, nor does it leave the area it where begins play.
This app replaces the necessity of having the card on you by giving you a full-screen, crisp image of the front and back of hero card you choose to use. The concept of having this app with you wherever you go is incredibly handy. It not only eliminates the need to carry a bunch of hero cards with you to events for those that have multiple decks, but it gives you a leg up when you are considering building a deck, as it has a searchable and sortable mini-database featuring every hero printed to date. I say mini-database since it does not feature every card in the game, but it does as the label says, gives you all the WoW TCG heroes. The developer has kept good with his promise of regular updates when new heroes become available, and he seems very open to ideas and discussion with the community, so I personally think he will stick with the app for a long while.
The other feature of this app is having a movable life counter that shows your current damage on the hero itself, rather than having to use dice or glass beads as counters. This makes things very convenient and combined with the swipe gestures to bring up the menu or flip your hero to the opposite side (using their usually once-per-game special ability) the app’s controls are quite intuitive which was a pleasant change from many of the basic menu-driven TCG apps out there.
While a lot of apps for Magic and other card games retrieve their information from an online database, WoW TCG Heroes keeps everything stored locally for offline usage. This is fantastic for users that are on iPods(such as myself) or don’t want to waste battery power on data during a mid-sized tournament which can last easily 3-4 hours.
Now battery life is something I wanted to talk about with this app. Relying on WoW TCG Heroes completely for a large scale tournament may be an issue, since in my personal experience, my iPod Touch has an average battery life of 3 hours or so. If I keep the brightness low, put the device to sleep whenever possible and turn off wifi, I can eek out maybe 4-5 hours, but I wouldn’t want to stake a tournament on this guess. (AKA bring the paper heroes with you to large events) Your own device’s battery is something to keep in mind, and as usual, your mileage may vary.
While my review my seem contradictory in suggesting you keep the cards this app replaces with you, this app is phenomenal for sealed-format events where you can pick your characters from any available in the sets, situations where you need to know exact text on a hero you don’t have on-hand, and great in local events that don’t run for an inordinate amount of time.
One bit of contention some people have with the app is the price point, which is currently $2.99 at the time of this writing, which some feel is too high for a non-gaming app that basically shows you things you already own. That said, I argue that the price is absolutely fair considering WoW TCG Heroes has had regular and timely updates. If the additional features that the developer is considering adding in the near future, like more information tracking for both players in a game, and adding Arena Grand Melee cards, become a reality, then the app becomes a Swiss Army knife for TCG players. There is also a free version that offers only the most recent heroes, which should be enough for a good portion of the player base. Again, I am a big proponent of TCG utilities on portable devices, so I am more than happy to encourage future development by paying a few extra dollars.
Do you play the WoW TCG often? Are you like me and happen to lose/misplace your heroes frequently? Do you need to know in a pinch what race and professions the Horde Druid hero from Hunt For Illdan is? (Hint: it is a Tauren with Enchanting and Jewelcrafting) If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely have already gone to the iTunes store and purchased WoW TCG Heroes or at least downloaded the light version, but in case you haven’t…head on over now. I’ll wait.
There you go, see? Totally worth it!
Now If you don’t play the card game often, or are simply looking for a life tracking app, then you may want to stick with the Free version of WoW TCG Heroes or pass completely.