Blizzard has launched the iPad version of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. They'll roll out the game in other regions soon but there's a way to play the game outside those three countries in the meantime.

To download the game in a currently unsupported country, you need to switch the region for your iPad. Here are the step-by-step instructions to do that, courtesy of one helpful Reddit user:
  • Open up the Settings app, and then click "iTunes & App Store"
  • Tap your Apple ID at the top of this page, and then "View Apple ID" in the pop-up window.
  • Select "Country/Region" on the next page and set it to "British Columbia, Canada"
  • Delete your payment method
  • Change your zip code to V0L 1C0
  • Find the game on the app store and download it
"I'm in north California and I've been playing Hearthstone on the iPad for half an hour now. It works surprisingly well, although it is a bit laggy," the tipster said.

You can switch your account back to the US after downloading the game. The trick won't delete any other items associated with your Apple account. Your Hearthstone card collection also won't be affected by this workaround because that data is tied to your account.

The trick won't work if you have an existing balance on your account. You'll have to get rid of that balance first. Alternately, you can call iTunes customer support and tell them you're changing regions.

Another way to get Hearthstone in an unsupported region is to make a brand new Apple account in Canada, Australia or New Zealand. To set up this account without a credit card, you'll need to download a free app. This will allow you to set "None" as your payment method.

The iPad version of Hearthstone is virtually the same as the original PC and Mac edition. Blizzard designed it with the expectation that players will bounce between different devices. Your card collection and friends list are shared between the desktop and tablet versions. The game also supports cross-platform matchmaking.

Blizzard's giving an extra little bonus to players who try out the iPad version. There's a new achievement called "iCard" that you can earn by finishing one match on iPad. These achievement gives you a free card pack.

The development team says that the iPad version will officially launch in other countries in the near future. They're staggering the launch to ensure it's as smooth as possible.

"Launching Hearthstone in a limited set of countries allows us to focus on the end-to-end player experience and make sure it’s awesome before we move on to the rest of the world. If you don’t live in Australia, Canada, or New Zealand, you don’t have much longer to wait to get your hands on Hearthstone for iPad—Murloc Scout’s honor."

Earlier this week, Hearthstone's first official season of ranked play began. Players can now earn alternate card backs by racking up wins in these head-to-head matches.
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