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Blackthorne was one of the first games published by new compay Blizzard Entertainment, all the way back in 1994. Now, nearly two decades after it first hit the SNES, Blackthorne's back, for free, via Battle.net.
Blizzard has kept pretty quiet about the release, but it's already tucked away inside your Battle.net account, waiting for you to download. Head to the Download Game Clients page (under the Games & Codes tab), and scroll down. There's a new Classic Games section at the bottom, with Blackthorne the only game there... for now.
You play as Kyle, who has started having strange, prophetic dreams. Turns out that he is the son of good King Vlaros, ruler of the Androth people of the planet Tuul. Tuul's is home to another race, the Ka'dra'suul, who - over time - have morphed into some sort of monster, and (as monsters are inclined to do) decided to take over the entire planet, crushing the Androth.
Vlaros sent Kyle to earth to protect him, but now it's time for Kyle to come back, a grown-up, military mercenary, ready to kick some serious butt.
...this, of course, is where you step in, in a pretty fun little puzzle/platformer. Importantly, the game you can grab now from Battle.net has not been updated. It's just the same as it was in the mid-90s, full of pixelisation and a glorious MIDI soundtrack - perfect for a bit of seasonal nostalgia.
While Blackthorne itself is pretty great, this "classic game" release holds even greater potential. Will we see the old Silicon & Synapse games like Rock & Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings pop up? Maybe the original Warcraft? The studio has an amazing back-catalogue, our fingers are firmly crossed.
I like video games and music and cups of tea and noodles and beagles and colour-cycling LEDs.
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Jimmy the Geek