I’ve officially launched my new website Hearts & Tactics today. Ever since I started work on Black Maria, I’ve been wanting a website where I could talk about hearts, and pick up tips on how to play better. As a rule, the better I can play a game, the more I enjoy it.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot out there when it comes to places to talk and learn about hearts. Don’t get me wrong: there are tons of places to play hearts. There were two dozen iPhone apps last I counted. It’s hearts strategy and tactics information that’s lacking. There is information out there, but it’s scattered and hard to find. I lost count of how many broken links I ran into when doing research.
Anyway, Hearts & Tactics addresses all that. It has a comprehensive strategy section covering everything from passing, playing, and shooting the moon. It’s not just for advanced players either: it contains strategies for beginners too. It has place where you can talk with other hearts players about strategy, your favorite variations, or where you like to play. It even has a brief bit about the history of hearts, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The goal of Hearts & Tactics is to get more people playing and enjoying hearts. I think teaching some basic strategies and providing a place for those interested to congregate and help each other out will do a lot. So go check it out.
I officially released Black Maria today. If you like card games — especially if you like ones that require strategy — and you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you should give it a try. If you don’t know how to play hearts, no problem, the game will teach you how. It’s also free, so there’s no reason not to go try it right now.
If you want to learn more, you can visit Black Maria’s product page or read the press release.
Update: I’m no longer able to take any more people into the beta program at this time. Thanks for your interest!
I’ve never been much for twitch-based computer games, instead preferring ones that require a little more thought and strategy. In fact, I tend to prefer real world card and board games to the computer kind. One of my favorites is the hearts card game, which requires dodging hearts (penalty cards) while trying to force other players to take them.
The only problem is I don’t always have pocket space to carry around a deck of cards, nor do I really want to. And don’t get me started on finding three people who know how to play hearts, and finding the pocket space for them too. Apparently these people have standards, and sometimes restraining orders.
Anyway, Black Maria is how I like to play hearts. It uses the rules I prefer (although they’re configurable through expansion packs) and fits nicely in my pocket. Even better, it comes with three witty opponents who — as far as I know — don’t know any lawyers. The difficulty, rules, and even opponents and backgrounds can be changed through expansion packs.
If any of this sounds remotely interesting to you, I encourage you to try out the Black Maria beta, and leave me some feedback about what you think about Black Maria. Despite the price tags listed in the app, the expansion packs are actually free for the beta, so be sure to give them a whirl too.