If you're anything like me, you feel more stupid now than you did at the start of the week. And for that we can thank Hearthstone's new Puzzle Lab mode, the single-player component of The Boomsday Expansion, which went live on Tuesday. It contains more than 100 puzzles, each of which is a board state you must 'solve' using a combination of the cards in hard, minions in play, and your Hero Power.
Depending on which category you're playing, the solution will involve healing yourself to full health, mirroring the opposing side of the board exactly, killing the enemy Hero, or clearing every creature from the board. The puzzles start easy, but soon become fiendish. Trust me, you might think you hate Northshire Cleric now, but wait until you're trying to do fatigue maths using four of them.
Beating all the puzzles earns—no prizes for guessing—a new Dr Boom-flavoured card back. Of course the real prize is the satisfaction gleaned from giving your addled brain an actual workout, but then what? Wouldn't it be cool to create your own puzzles and share them with pals? That was the question Samuel Roberts, our UK editor-in-chief, put to Hearthstone senior designer Dean "Ikasr" Ayala this week at Gamescom.
"I was actually thinking about that," said Ayala. "As far as implementation, there are a couple of ways you could do it. You could try to create something in-client, or a version on the web. But right now people are already finding ways to create puzzles online—you see them all the time with these puzzle apps, on Reddit, and a bunch of places where people are creating board states [to solve] without any support from us at all." Unfortunately he added that: "We don't have any plans [to enable sharing], but I think it's a really cool idea."
A shame, but not entirely surprising. I wouldn't rule out some kind of expanded Puzzle functionality coming to the game eventually, but given that we're still waiting on the promised tournament mode, I wouldn't expect puzzle sharing to happen anytime soon. Nonetheless, definitely do log in and give the Lab go. It's a nice change of pace from being zerged down by Odd Rogue on ladder, plus you'll earn three free packs automatically, and if all else fails you can always look the solution up online. I see you.
For more info on Puzzle Mode, check out the video below. Also know that we're working on an update to our best Legendary cards list right now, but let's just say that Flobbidinous Floop is going to be a safe craft for the foreseeable future.