In a lengthy blog post Blizzard Entertainment introduced their plans for their popular digital card game Hearthstone in 2017. This year marks the end of last year’s Year of the…
December 31 marks the 20th anniversary of the original Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment is hosting a minor celebration across all their games with special events, games, and loot.
“Blizzard Entertainment is thrilled to commemorate twenty years of Diablo,” states the news post. “We’re ready to celebrate our passion for the world of Sanctuary and the brave heroes who inhabit it! Here’s to twenty years of loot!”
Each of Blizzard’s ongoing series is celebrating:
- Diablo III – The Darkening of Tristram tribute event. The Cathedral levels of Diablo 1 have been recreated in Diablo III, including some “familiar items.”
- Heroes of the Storm – The weekly brawl will feature a Diablo theme. As with other brawls, playing three games nets you a unique portrait.
- Hearthstone – A Diablo-themed Tavern Brawl, and a new Diablo card back.
- Overwatch – Loot new sprays of the Diablo III classes, and a new Diablo player icon.
- Starcraft II – A new Diablo-themed portrait.
- World of Warcraft – “Strange things are afoot in the world of Azeroth as denizens of Sanctuary cross over into an unfamiliar world.”
No details on when the Diablo event ends.
As far as multi-game events go, this one is pretty weak. New retro content in Diablo III is nice, but the rest are lame. To be fair, Blizzard is also in the midst of their big Overwatch Winter Event, and other holiday events for various games.
Diablo is widely considered the grandfather of the entire Action-RPG genre. It wasn’t the first to define the genre, but it was the first to popularize its loot-driven, fast-paced gameplay. Decades of games have built upon that solid gameplay loop, from Borderlands to Destiny.
Blizzard’s own Diablo II remains one of their most beloved titles. The very long-awaited Diablo III had a rough launch. It was criticized for some jarring changes. After years of feedback, patches, and updates it has been embraced by fans, and become a worthy successor.
Great for All Ages
NOTE: Some of these games are free to download and play, but buying items can help with gameplay. Because of this, a gift card for the app store is a great present.
Armello is a complex, but really good digital board game. I found it satisfying to simply play against AI characters, but multiplayer was fun too. There’s no chat, so you don’t have deal with any objectionable behavior from other players. The developers recently released an expansion pack that adds more characters that you can play as. I really liked this game and very much recommend it for someone whose looking for a strategic board game experience, but can’t get the friends together to have one. Though you could all play Armello together from any location.
Burly Men at Sea
It’s the perfect type of game to simply relax with. The dialogue and the sense of humor were great. The burly men, themselves are pretty entertaining, but some of the other characters were even more so. My favorite was the grim reaper. Burly Men at Sea is funny, fun and short. Typically short games aren’t well-liked, but the length is perfect for what it is. It’s easy to pick up, play through making different choices and put down again. The art style fits perfectly with the whimsical charm of the game, and the whole package makes for a really great gaming experience.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
This game has been out for awhile, but it’s got a thriving community that continues to grow.
If you haven’t heard of this one, then you’ve really been out of touch. This game brings Pokemon into the real world and is a huge sensation.
The bright colors, clean lines and uncomplicated rules make RYB not only a fun, relaxing challenge for adults, but also a great tool to introduce children to logic.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Skylanders Battlecast. It shamelessly rips most of its gameplay from Hearthstone – but that’s a great game to rip from. There’s just enough added gameplay, like the Skylander swapping and random energy, to create a satisfyingly replayable experience.
Great for Older Gamers
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a game that gives you an enjoyable story with plenty of twists and lots of great characters. But perhaps the best aspect of the game is the potential it holds for using a game to teach real history to its players. I’m hoping iNK Stories can take me somewhere else in the future.
Batman: The Telltale Series
This is a classic episodic story done in Telltale’s tried and true method. Not all of the episodes have been released yet, but the one’s that have are great.
BlizzCon took place last weekend and there was a ton of news about Blizzard games, including Overwatch, Hearthstone, Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft. We talk about all of it! EA has released a brand new trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda and it has us salivating. And they’ve got some cool related features up on the game’s official website. If you’re tired of waiting for Pokemon Sun and Moon, you can just take a look online because lots and lots of details have been leaked. Also we talk about some upcoming Black Friday deals and Stephen starts us off with his experience playing Star Stable for Extra Life.
During BlizzCon 2016, there were a number of announcements about Blizzard games. One of these was the reveal of the next Hearthstone expansion called the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. Like…