Hearthstone is celebrating the launch of its newest expansion, Rastakhan's Rumble, with a brand new single-player mode called Rumble Run. Much like the game's single-player content prior to this iteration, Rumble Run will take the form of a challenging deck-building puzzle pitted against AI opponents.
Hearthstone has been a wildly successful online collectible card game for years now, dating back to an open beta period in 2014 that garnered the interest of millions of gamers worldwide. The game has since grown quickly, and now has several expansions and formats behind it as the development team continues to produce new content at a brisk clip. Rastakhan's Rumble released just last week, and has been well received, although some players have complained that the newest set is weaker than the previous few and thus hasn't had much of a chance to shine in the current Standard format.
Luckily, single-player modes like Rumble Run represent an excellent chance for some of the newer cards to shine as intended, and the mode launched earlier today. Rumble Run puts players in the role of Rikkar, a young troll who is looking to make their name in the Gurubashi Arena. Players will gather new cards and powers as they build their deck in Rumble Run and compete against increasingly stronger teams, with the goal being the defeat of all eight challengers, which will unlock a new card back for the player.
Rumble Run functions a little differently than previous single-player modes in Hearthstone, as players are given a choice of three random Shrines to start each run. Each Shrine represents a Loa, which in turn represents a class, and will change the appearance of Rikkar based on the player's choice. Shrines can't be destroyed, but rather enter a state of dormancy when they are killed, and reactivate after three turns. Each Shrine has a unique passive ability that alters the landscape of the playing field, and both the player and their opponents will begin each game with one. It's a new wrinkle in strategy that seems tailor-made to give the player interesting gameplay and deck-building decisions.
Rumble Run looks like it will be yet another successful single-player mode for Hearthstone. The issue, though, is that these modes only satiate players for so long, and there are already complaints mounting that Hearthstone's Standard scene might not be very healthy at the moment. If that's true, then Rumble Run will only be a momentary distraction for the game's elite. Coupled with some changes made by Blizzard earlier this year to the competitive structure of the game, a stale Standard format could be dangerous for the game, especially with Magic: The Gathering Arena and Artifact making headway into the genre as we approach the new year.